Japanese violinist Kei Shirai was born in Trinidad and Tobago and began playing the violin at the age of three. As a child he was taught by Tsugio Tokunaga and, while studying at Geidai University of the Arts in Tokyo, by Chikashi Tanaka and Miyoko Yamane-Goldberg. Upon his graduation in 2007, Kei Shirai was awarded a Japanese Government Scholarship to continue his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Johannes Meissl. Among his awards at major international competitions are the second prize and the audience prize at the 2009 ARD Competition in Munich.

Kei enjoys a multi-faceted career as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. His concert engagements take him frequently to Japan’s biggest venues and festivals. In Europe he performs regularly with the Stefan Zweig Trio and the Ludwig Chamber Players: an acclaimed mixed instrumentation ensemble based in Stuttgart.

Kei Shirai is a concert master of the Kobe City Chamber orchestra, a post he has held since 2013.