Keila Wakao was awarded the 1st prize and the Junior Composer Award in the 2021 Menuhin International Violin Competition.

She was also the 1st prize winner of the Stulburg International String Competition and was awarded the Bach prize in 2021.

Born in 2006, 16 year old violinist Keila Wakao is from Boston, MA and began playing the violin at the age of 3. At age 6, the late Mr. Joseph Silverstein accepted Keila as a student. Currently, she is a tenth grader at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and studies with Donald Weilerstein and Soovin Kim at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

Keila has also been receiving Kyoko Takezawa's private instruction in Japan. 

Keila has performed solos and recitals throughout the United States, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. At age 9, Keila gave her first solo performance with an orchestra, and since then, she has performed with orchestras including the Chattanooga Symphony, the Adelphi Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Symphony and the New Philharmonia Orchestra.


In the upcoming season, Keila will be performing with the Resound Collective in Singapore, the Reading Symphony, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Lexington Symphony, and the Eugene Symphony.


In 2017, Keila was invited to speak and perform in TEDxyouth, and every Summer since 2018, she has been participating in the Perlman Music Program, where she studies with Itzahk Perlman, Li Lin, and Catherine Cho.

Keila plays on a 1745 fine old Italian violin by G.B Guadagnini on generous loan from the Florian Leonhard Fellowship.

Keila feels special connection to cancer patients, survivors, and their families. Because of her experience with her father becoming diagnosed with cancer in the past, she found great passion in performing in hospitals and for patients to bring joy, hope, and light for them. Keila would always like this to be part of her carrier and life work.