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Maki Namekawa

About this Artist

Maki Namekawa is a leading figure among today’s pianists, bringing contemporary music by international composers to audiences’ attention. A soloist and a chamber musician, she performs regularly at international venues including Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Philharmonie de Paris, Bozar (Brussels), the Barbican Centre (London), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), and in 2022—for the first time—the Gewandhaus Leipzig. Her world premiere recording of Philip Glass: The Complete Piano Etudes in 2014 reached No. 1 on the iTunes Classical chart. She has toured on five continents with this repertory, often with Philip Glass himself. Namekawa’s 2018 release of the Glass soundtrack Mishima (piano version arranged by Michael Riesman) received the Austrian National Radio’s (ORF) Pasticcio Prize. 

In 2019, Philip Glass composed his first Piano Sonata for Namekawa, commissioned for her by the Ruhr Piano Festival, the Philharmonie de Paris, and the Ars Electronica Festival. She recently released, together with Glass, Distant Figure: A Passacaglia, on Orange Mountain Music. In 2022, she premiered new works by Joe Hisaishi at the Philharmonie de Paris and by Evan Ziporyn in Boston at MIT.

Namekawa studied piano at Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo with Mikio Ikezawa and Henriette Puig-Roget. In 1994, she won the Leonid Kreutzer Prize. In 1995, she continued her studies with Werner Genuit and Kaya Han at Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, where she completed her diploma as a soloist with special distinction. She went on to perfect her artistry in Classical-Romantic repertoire with Edith Picht-Axenfeld and in contemporary music with Pierre-Laurent Aimard at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, György Kurtág, Stefan Litwin, and Florent Boffard.