mami Shikimori Pianist

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Recital at the Holywell Music Room – Oxford Proms

Mami performed in two Oxford Proms concerts. Both concerts were well attended and there was a review of the Holywell recital in the Oxford Times -

“Oxford Proms: Mami Shikimori

Japanese pianist Mami Shikimori, who now lives in Abingdon, has attracted a considerable following, if the size of her audience at the Holywell Music Room is anything to go by. It was not hard to see why as she launched into her opening piece, Mozart’s Rondo in A minor, K511. She produces a very wide range of tone colour and dynamics, and has a strong sense of musical phrasing. In the case of the Rondo, the work’s sense of elegantly expressed grief was poignantly demonstrated: as the piece is only ten minutes long, some pianists might be tempted to toss it off, but not Shikimori. Ravel’s La Valse is also sometimes treated as a potboiler, but again Shikimori turned it into a major, multi-faceted experience.

The 21st Century was represented by Oxford-based composer Tim Perkins’s 7th Heaven. Constructed from combinations of septangular musical devices, this short work begins austerely with a simple melody that made me think of a clock chiming with an unusual sequence of notes. The music quickly becomes more unbuttoned, however, and Shikimori plainly relished it every step of the way – to the obvious delight of the composer, who was present.

In contrast, Shikimori imparted a dream-like atmosphere to the opening of Ondine, one of three pieces she played from Debussy’s Préludes, Book 2. The apparent simplicity of the following Canope demonstrated another of Shikimori’s attributes, her transparent sound, which allows you to follow all the interweaving strands of everything she plays.

But for me, the major event of the evening was the performance of Brahms’s Sonata No 3, Op 5. This big-scale, five-movement work elicited an appropriately big-scale performance, with its broad range of tone colour and emotion playing to Shikimori’s strengths. For instance, as she moved from the powerful first movement to the gentle opening of the second, the piano began to sing. It was a memorable moment in this altogether most satisfying recital.” Giles Woodforde

Mami would like to acknowledge the help and support of Professor Christopher Elton in preparing the programmes.