Noted for her expressive power and poetic insight, combined with effortless technical ability, Japanese pianist Mami Shikimori has been exciting audiences since first appearing on stage in 1996.
Hailed by Japan’s foremost newspaper, The Daily Yomiuri, for her “astonishing beauty of tone and virtuoso technique”, she has already performed at numerous world-renowned concert venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, London’s St. John’s, Smith Square, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and, in 2008, gave a highly-acclaimed solo recital at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. She has also played at London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields and at the Goethe Institute in Bangkok. In 2002, Mami was voted by Manchester Midday Concert Society as one of the two most outstanding young pianists to have played a solo recital at the city’s Bridgewater Hall.
Mami was awarded a scholarship to the Purcell School of Music, where she studied with Jean Anderson and later, went on to the Royal College of Music to study with Bernard Roberts and chamber music with John Blakely. She graduated with the highest honours as well as the Hopkinson Gold Medal and other major prizes for solo piano. She also won the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Prize for Outstanding Diploma Recital for which she was awarded the maximum mark and additionally won the Principal’s Special Award for solo piano. Thereafter, she won a full scholarship to attend Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. Her teachers include John Perry and Christopher Elton.
Mami has been a top prize winner at several international competitions including receiving the New York IBLA Grand Prize in 2003 which resulted in appearances at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at New York University, and engagements in Italy and the UK. She also performed in a masterclass with Stephen Kovacevich at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Mami Shikimori is much in demand as a solo recitalist, chamber music player and concerto soloist. In 2006, she made her world-wide concerto debut with Japan’s Kyushu Symphony Orchestra in Fukuoka and her later performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto at the prestigious Kyushu Summer Festival attracted much critical acclaim. More recently, she made her successful London concerto debut at St. John’s, Smith Square, performing Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto which she also played at the Sheldonian Theatre for Oxford Proms 2011. She was immediately invited back to perform with Oxford Proms Orchestra in 2012 and played Mozart Piano Concerto in C, K467. Conductors she has worked with include Alexander Walker, Adrian Shepherd, Keith Marshall, John Traill and Yukio Kitahara. She has broadcast on Classical KUSC, America’s largest and most listened to public radio classical music station, recorded live from the Alfred Newman Hall in Los Angeles, and performed live television broadcasts on NHK, KBC and FBS in Japan.
Alongside her solo work, Mami regularly performs with violinist Masayuki Kino (Soloist/Concertmaster, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra) and they recently completed an eight concert-tour of Japan and the UK, performing works by Respighi, Szymanowski, Koichi Kishi and Ginastera.
Her solo recital CD has just been released by Claudio Records label, comprising Mozart Rondo in A minor K511, Brahms Sonata in F minor Op 5, and Ravel La Valse. She has also recorded for the NAR label.
Forthcoming engagements include a Wigmore Hall recital and the Grieg Piano Concerto at the Sheldonian Theatre.
Following a charity concert she gave in March 2011 at the Philam Life Theatre, Philippines, Mami was made an ‘Adopted Daughter of Pasay City’ an honorary citizenship awarded by the Mayor of that city.
4 January, 2013