Born in Tokyo, Yasuko KOZAKI studied singing at the Geidai State Conservatory in Tokyo.
In 1981, she won the First prize at the International Music Competition of the MIN-ON Society in Tokyo and continued her studies as a DAAD scholarship holder at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart with Professor Sylvia Geszty (vocals), Professor Konrad Richter ( singing class), Prof. Klaus Nagora and Prof. Ernst Poettigen (opera).
From 1983 to 1991, she was engaged at the Stuttgart State Opera. After the first public lecture evening, Yasuko KOZAKI was immediately hired as a lyric coloratura soprano at the Stuttgart State Opera. She sang many important roles in her field such as “Norina” (Don Pasquale), the title role in “Martha” (directed by Loriot), “Blondchen” (Die Entführung aus dem Seraglio) and “Pamina” (Flute Enchantée) and has collaborated with renowned directors such as Giancarlo del Monaco, Götz Friedrich, Achim Freyer and Harry Kupfer and with conductors such as Silvio Varviso, Luis Garcia Navarro, Helmuth Rilling and Ferdinand Leitner.
Yasuko KOZAKI is invited as a concert and opera singer in international musical centers in Europe (including Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Dresden; Paris, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg), but also in Cairo and Japan (including Tokyo , Osaka).
She remained connected with the Stuttgart State Opera until 1991, since then she has worked as a freelance opera and concert singer with a particular focus on the interpretation of lieder.
Yasuko KOZAKI produced a CD with songs by Hugo Wolf and Richard Strauss and a recording with songs by Raphael von Koeber with Cornelis Witthoefft on piano.
She is particularly fond of programs of literary songs, for example with texts by Goethe, Eichendorff, Mörike, Lenau or Hölderlin, but also by Brecht and Kästner. She also deals with arrangements of folk songs, composers of Jewish origin, religious songs with organ accompaniment.
In 2012 she released a CD with songs by Friedrich Nietzsche with Cornelis Witthoefft.
Since 2002, Yasuko KOZAKI has been a professor at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart. She is a valued teacher, and also teaches in several international master classes.
Yasuko Kozaki was fascinated by Viktor Ullmann, who left a large number of works as a composer and critic even during his imprisonment in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. In cooperation with her song duo partner Cornelis Witthoefft and the Hans-Krása-Verein, which Witthoefft founded to revive the so-called “degenerate music”, she intensively dealt with the extensive repertoire between 1998 and 2003, among others. She had the opportunity to work on the attic stage of the Theresienstadt camp and in the synagogues of Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg and Freudental.
Yasuko Kozaki sang the role of Bubikopf in the German premiere of Viktor Ullmann’s chamber opera “Der Kaiser von Atlantis” at the Staatstheater in Stuttgart. The piece, also known as “The Abdicated Death”, was composed in the Theresienstadt camp and prepared for the dress rehearsal.
However, the performance was banned because the plot posed a problem: the role of the Kaiser was too clearly based on the person of Adolf Hitler. The sheet music was smuggled out of Theresienstadt by a survivor and found in the attic of a house in London in the 1970s.
After the natural disaster in Japan in 2011, she organized several benefit concerts, in which she was singing.