Makiko Sakai was born in Kyoto, Japan where she began her piano studies. She moved to New York City at age ten to continue her studies at the Juilliard School (first at the Pre-College division). Later, she was a scholarship student receiving the E. Reifsnider award and graduated both with a Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree as well as a post-graduate diploma. Ms. Sakai also holds two Diploma di Meritos from Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy.
Makiko Sakai has performed in public from an early age both in the U.S. and in Europe. She has performed extensively as a chamber musician in various formations (piano duos, string duos, trios, quartets etc.). Ms. Sakai can be heard in recordings (radio and discs) of the works of Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Moussorgsky and Huybrechts).