Motoko Toba studied in New York and graduated from the Julliard School with a Bachelor's degree in violin, and she completed her Master's degree in violin at Yale University. She continued her post graduate studies as a full scholarship student of Zakhar Bron at Queen Sofia College of Music in Madrid. While studying there, she was a recipient of the Isaac Albeniz Foundation Scholarship as well as the prestigious Spanish Foreign Affairs Scholarship, which is granted to one student nationally each year.
Ms. Toba has attended various music festivals throughout the world, including Aspen, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany), Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria (Spain), the International Orchestral Institute (Austria) and many other festivals in Europe and Japan.
While a student at Queen Sofia College, she was selected as a soloist to perform with Zubin Mehta, James Judd and Jose Luis Garcia with the Reina Sofia College orchestra. She has also performed in many masterclasses, including those taught by Isaac Stern and Menahem Pressler.
Since moving back to the United States, Ms. Toba has focused on playing as an orchestra musician and teaching privately. Her current and former students have won many local competitions and perform in youth orchestras throughout the Bay Area including the San Francisco Youth Orchestra.
Ms. Toba is currently a member of the Symphony Silicon Valley in the first violin section. In the past, she was a member of the California Symphony and Berkeley Symphony where she often played as an assistant concertmaster for both orchestras. When her schedule permits, she plays with the San Francisco Symphony and she has been invited to join them on several orchestra tours both nationally and internationally.
Ms. Toba is known for teaching a solid left hand technique in her violin classes. From time to time, Ms. Toba enjoys taking pedagogy classes. Past programs she has attended include a retreat program at Indiana University to study in depth a more physical and organic approach to playing violin.