When I picked up my violin in the age of 4, I knew I wanted to be unique and inventive with music. I've gone through colorful path to be myself now and continuously ride this crazy roller coaster to discover something new. I am a Japanese native classically trained violinist. When I moved to Oregon as a foreign exchange student in the age of 15, I found freedom in music. My choice of music was restricted to classical by my parents back home. I was introduced to Pop, Rock and, Soul by my American brothers.


When I was 20, I took a scholarship audition for Berklee College of Music at a hotel in Los Angeles. I thought I can give a shot but I was not thinking of music as my career. I just played Paganini, jammed a simple blues with a guitarist and left. One day I got a letter from Berklee and it stated that I got a scholarship so I applied. When I went to Berklee, I majored in audio engineering and performance. I've learned mainly Jazz, World music and signal flows but outside of school, I was playing with a folk rock band, and a celtic band. Meeting many talented songwriters and performers inspired me to be more creative with violin. During that time, I started arranging strings for band projects. To me it was a fun creative personal moment. First string arrangement was tough and took me a while. I think it took me a week to write 4 parts to go with a pop song. After that, it was a domino effect and I was asked to do more arrangements from other people. I did't get paid but I figured it will be a good experience.


During the school year I saw an ad for an audition for Henry Mancini Institute summer program at UCLA. This particular program was something I was looking for a while so I took an audition. I was rejected for the first time. A year later I took it again but I was prepared. I was accepted. When I went there, I've met some great Jazz musicians and composers. I was one of a few violinists who can improvise so I was asked to take solos with Jazz combos and worked with other classical string players. I arranged some string quartet Jazz standards as a guidance to improvisation. Also played many of the great film composers' charts and meeting some of them were great asset to my creativity.


After 4 years in college, I moved back to Los Angeles. Now I look back and realized that I've been through a lot but never gave up my dream to be a musician. It has been 14 years and I enjoy every moment as an eclectic genre free violinist, string arranger, and audio engineer.



Thank you everyone for your support!

Hiro Goto