Noriko Ogawa

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Noriko Ogawa
Photo: Richard Cannon


Noriko was awarded third prize in the 1987 Leeds International Piano Competition and has since achieved considerable renown in Europe, America and in her native Japan where she is a national celebrity.

In 1999 Noriko Ogawa was awarded the Japanese Ministry of Education’s Art Prize in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the cultural profile of Japan throughout the world and she has just been awarded the Okura Prize for her outstanding contribution to music in Japan. In 2004 she was appointed as one of the advisors for a new concert hall in her hometown in Japan, the MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall (  Here she remains much in demand, appearing at major arts festivals, performing regularly with the major orchestras and making regular radio and television broadcasts for both NHK and Nippon television. 

Following her success at Leeds, Ogawa gained a devoted following. Ogawa records regularly for the BBC as recitalist and soloist, gives chamber recitals and appears with all the major UK, European, Japanese and US orchestras. Amongst the leading conductors she has worked with are Charles Dutoit, Hans Vonk, Alexander Lazarev, Libor Pesek, Leonard Slatkin, Vernon Handley, Tadaaki Otaka, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Kasper de Roo and Günther Herbig. Ogawa is also renowned as a recitalist and chamber musician; concerts have taken her all over the world and included a tour of Japan with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Ensemble and the leader of the Vienna Philharmonic, Rainer Honeck. 2001 saw the launch of her piano duo with renowned pianist Kathryn Stott, with whom she has just completed a highly successful Japanese tour. Ogawa also collaborates with Steven Isserlis, Isabelle van Keulen, Martin Roscoe and Michael Collins.

Recent and forthcoming concerts include a duo recital at Birmingham Symphony Hall, recitals in the US, Japan, Kenya and Singapore and concerts with the BBC Scottish, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Aalborg Symphony, BBC Philharmonic and the Tokyo Philharmonic under Myung-Whun Chung. Plans also include a solo tour of Australia, a collaboration with upcoming composer Dai Fujikura and Ogawa’s debut with Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vanska. 

Ogawa is also in demand as a jurist, regularly adjudicating the piano final and grand final of the BBC Young Musician of the year Competition. Ogawa will serve as a Jury member for the Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary, 2006.

Since 1997 Noriko Ogawa has been an exclusive recording artist for BIS Records. Her recordings include works by Japanese composers, including Toru Takemitsu Riverrun (awarded Editor’s Choice in the January edition of Gramophone Magazine), Rachmaninov Second and Third Piano Concertos, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, (selected as the Critics’ Choice 1998 by BBC Music Magazine). Ogawa has also released the remaining concertos of Rachmaninov, and discs of music by Tcherepnin and Saint-Saens.

Ogawa’s latest series for BIS is the complete solo works for piano by Debussy of which volumes one and two  have been met with critical acclaim the world over, the latter winning Editor’s Choice in the March 2003 edition of Gramophone Magazine. The recently released third volume has been met with equal admiration from critics, further establishing her profile as a Debussy expert and winning Editor’s Choice in the January 2006 edition of Gramophone Magazine. 

Future and recent releases include Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor with the Bergen Philharmonic and the first recording with her duo partner Kathryn Stott featuring music by Delius. Ogawa’s first Debussy album was included in an exclusive series representing the 30th anniversary of BIS.