Mari Kodama

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Pianist Mari Kodama has established an international reputation for her musical sensitivity and outstanding virtuosity. In performances throughout Europe, USA and Japan she has consistantly proven the profound aesthetics of her very personal and unique style. 

Born in Osaka, Mari Kodama left Japan as a child and was raised in Germany, Switzerland, France, and England. At the Conservatoire National de Paris, she studied piano with Germaine Mounier and chamber music with Geneviève Joy-Dutilleux. Following conservatory she studied with Tatiana Nikolaeva at the Salzburg Mozarteum and became a private pupil of Alfred Brendel.

In Japan, Kodama is a regular guest of major Japanese orchestras, most recently the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and the Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra in Tokyo. A brilliantly well-received performance of the complete Beethoven Sonata cycle in Los Angeles launched Kodama’s United States of America reputation, and was followed by acclaimed recital appearances in New York, Paris, London, as well as throughout Japan, Spain and Germany, and much of the rest of the U.S.A. The Los Angeles Times pronounced her performances of the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto “commanding and electrifying.”

Mari is also a founding artistic director of the Musical Days at Forest Hill, a festival of chamber music presented by her and Kent Nagano near their home in San Francisco. The pianist has played with such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the NDR Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Berkeley Symphony, among others.

With the release in Fall 2013 of the final CD, Mari completed her extraordinary project of recording the complete 32 Beethoven Sonatas for PENTATONE.  She has also recorded Prokofiev’s Concertos nos.  1 and 3 with the Philharmonia Orchestra on the ASV label, and Chopin No. 2 and Carl Loewe’s  Second  Piano Concerto with the Russian National Orchestra on PENTATONE, Beethoven’s Piano concerti Nos. 1-5 and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano.

She produced a fine performance, pearly in tone but somehow assertive, notably in the cadenzas, despite the leisurely tempos and ubiquitous rhetoric of elegance.