Momo Kodama

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Born in Osaka, Momo Kodama spent her early years in Europe; educated at a German school, she attended the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris before studying with great masters such as Murray Perahia, Andras Schiff, Vera Gornostaeva and Tatiana Nikolaïeva. In 1991, she became the youngest winner of the Concours International ARD in Munich. 

Momo Kodama has been invited to perform with world renowned orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Seiji Osawa, Eliahu Inbal, Charles Dutoit, Lawrence Foster, Kent Nagano, André Prévin and Sir Roger Norrington. In 2016, she made her debut at the Musikverein in Vienna and received return invitations to perform with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, including for the performance of Messiaen’s ‘Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine, as part of the Saint-Denis Festival. Parallel to a very busy career in Japan, she will be re-invited to perform with Düsseldorf Symphoniker, with her sister Mari, with whom she performs regularly. The duo will also make their debut at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. In addition to recitals as part of the Musica, La Roque d’Anthéron festivals and Paris Philharmonie, Momo has devised a special programme, ‘Debussy/Monsieur Croche’, together with fellow musician and actor, baryton Josep-Ramon Olivé and Pascal Rénéric, in tribute to the great French composer who died on 25 March 1918. 

Momo appears at prestigious festivals and concert halls including Marlboro, USA; Verbier, Switzerland; La Roque d’Anthéron, Festival Chopin, Festival d’Automne, France; Festival Enesco, Romania; Festival Tivoli, Denmark; Settembre Musica, Italy; Schleswig-Holstein, Germany as well as Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Musikverein in Vienna, and will give recitals at both Festival Musica in Strasbourg and Philharmonie in Paris during the following seasons. In 2011, she performed ‘Momo Kodama Piano Fantasie' in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, for which she was awarded the Saji Keizo Prize by the Suntory Foundation. 

A keen chamber musician, she regularly collaborates with violinists Christian Tetzlaff, Renaud Capuçon, Augustin Dumay; cellists Mario Brunello, Gauthier Capuçon and Steven Isserlis; the clarinettist Jörg Widmann and his sister, Carolin Widmann, with whom she performed Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du Temps at the Konzerthaus in Berlin in February 2016. 

Her repertoire extends from the classical and romantic periods to contemporary works, in particular, composers such as Toru Takemitsu, Ichiro Nodaïra, Toshio Hosokawa and Jörg Widmann. In concert, Momo Kodama is regarded worldwide as a distinguished interpreter of Olivier Messiaen: at the request of Yvonne Loriod, she premiered his Fantaisie for Violin and Piano, with Isabelle Faust in 2006. 

In 2013, she was invited by the Lucerne Piano festival to give the first performance of a new cycle of Etudes by Toshio Hosokawa: ‘[the] Japanese pianist captivated at Lucerne Hall’, and followed this with performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and Tokyo Opera City. 

Momo recently released her second CD for ECM, featuring cycles of Etudes by Claude-Achille Debussy and Japanese composer, Toshio Hosokawa. The CD received great critical acclaim and was ‘CD of the Week’ for the BBC Music Magazine. Prior to this, La Vallée des Cloches, also released by ECM with Ravel’s Miroirs, Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketch and Messiaen’s La Fauvette des Jardins, received outstanding acclaim from the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine, Classica (CHOC), Télérama (FFFF). This follows a series of recordings, all highly celebrated, of Debussy, Chopin and Messiaen (Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jesus, Catalogue d’Oiseaux).