Keiko Iwata grew up near the Japanese city of Nagoya, and graduated from the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo in 1983. After meeting the renowned violinist, teacher and former principal violinist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Herman Krebbers at a violin competition in Munich, she moved to Amsterdam to study with him at the Sweelinck Conservatory in 1988.
Iwata joined the first violin section of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1992. She also enjoys giving chamber music and school concerts in Japan.
Iwata plays a violin built by Guadagnini in 1764 with a top plate by Antonio Gragnani.