Concertmaster Makiko Hirayama started playing the piano at the age of three and the violin at the age of six.
She studied at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Japan, and arrived in the Netherlands in 1995 to study with Ilya Grubert and Jean-Jacques Kantorow in Rotterdam. In 2001 she started at the Koninklijk Vlaams Conservatorium in Antwerp with Guido de Neve and the Biella Muziek Academie with Ana Chumanchenco.
As a finalist in several different Japanese violin competitions, she was awarded first prize in 1994 and 1995 at the Kanagawa concours.
From 1997 onwards she had played in different Dutch orchestras, including the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, Het Radiosyfonieorkest, Het Residentie Orkest, The Beehoven Academy (Antwerp) and Amsterdam Sinfonietta.
In March of 2000, the Sinfonia Rotterdam (previously called Rotterdams Kamerorkest) was co-founded, and Hirayama was the section leader of the second violins. In 2004 she signed a contract with Het Limburgs Symfonie Orkest, meanwhile playing in several different ensembles. In 2003 she became a member of the Tokyo String Quartet in Japan, with whom she has given many concerts.