The first percussionist to be chosen for The Bowers Program, Ayano Kataoka is known for her brilliant and dynamic technique, as well as the unique elegance and artistry she brings to her performances. Together with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the American Museum of Natural History, she gave the world premiere of Bruce Adolphe's Self Comes to Mind for cello and two percussionists, based on a text by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, and featuring interactive video images of brain scans triggered by the live music performance. She presented a solo recital as part of the prestigious B to C (Bach to Contemporary) recital series at the Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall, which was broadcast nationally in Japan on NHK television. Other highlights include a performance of Steven Mackey’s Micro-Concerto for Percussion Solo and Chamber Ensemble at Alice Tully Hall, a theatrical performance of Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale at the 92nd Street Y with violinist Jaime Laredo and actors Alan Alda and Noah Wyle, and performances of Bartók's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion at the Chamber Music Society with pianists Emanuel Ax and Yoko Nozaki. Her performances can be also heard on Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, New World, New Focus, and Albany recording labels. A native of Japan, Kataoka began her marimba studies at age five, and percussion at 15. She received her artist diploma degree from Yale School of Music, where she studied with marimba virtuoso Robert van Sice. She is currently a full professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst.