Mari Kodama


Intelligently measured power and passionate conviction.
— The Los Angeles Times

Pianist Mari Kodama has established an international reputation for her profound musicality and articulate virtuosity in performances of a broad repertoire across Europe, North America, and Japan.

Highlights of Mari’s 2016-2017 season include performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concert No. 4 in G-Major at the Vorsprung Festival in Ingolstadt, the Arnold Schoenberg Piano Concerto with the Lübeck Philharmonic, Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the NDR Orchestra in Hannover and a recital in Mainz, returns to Japan for a tour with cellist Danjulo Ishizaka, performances of Poulenc and Saint-Saëns with the Osaka Century Orchestra and her sister, Momo Kodama and a Beethoven Sonatas cycle in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Mari is also a member of the jury for the 2017 Van Cliburn Competition.

In recent seasons Mari has appeared with the St. Petersburg Symphony, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille conducted by Lawrence Foster, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra performing Stenhammer’s Concerto No. 2, a work that she has previously performed in New York to critical acclaim and the Jyväskylä Sinfonia where she played Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto for Piano and Violin with Viviane Hagner, a work they reprised both in performance and for a recording with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester in Berlin. Recitals took Mari to Nantes, San Francisco, San José, on tour to Mexico and Japan. She was also seen in duo recital with her daughter Karin Kei Nagano in Paris, Mont Tremblant (Quebec) and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and with her sister, Momo Kodama, in Paris.

Mari has appeared extensively in concert in her native Japan including appearances in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka and many other cities. In addition to her solo performances, she occasionally appears in duo concerts both with her daughter, Karin Kei Nagano, and her sister, Momo Kodama. These special concerts have taken them to Germany, Japan and France, including with the Osaka Century Orchestra. As well, Mari collaborated with Momo Kodama for the world premiere of Jean-Pascal Beinthus’s Double Piano Concerto.

Other recent highlights include concerts with Berlin’s Deutsche Symphony Orchestra ▪ the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich ▪ l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal ▪ Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on tour with the Japan Philharmonic ▪ Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 the Singapore Symphony ▪ l’Ensemble orchestral de Paris both in Paris and on tour in Spain and a return to the Bad Kissengen Klangwerkstatt, curating a chamber series for young musicians. She also performed a recital at Spivey Hall in Georgia, returned to the Folles Journées Festival in Tokyo and led both the Forest Hill Musical Days, the cooperative chamber music festival she founded with her husband, conductor Kent Nagano, in San Francisco and the chamber music series at the Orford Music Festival.

Other highlights include performances of ▪ the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.3 with the Osnabrücker Symphonieorchester ▪ the Mozart concerti with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Portugal ▪ Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco ▪ the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with David Stahl and the Charleston Symphony ▪ the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 with l’Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke and ▪ Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major with Mark Wigglesworth and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Kodama also performed the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony, a work she has also performed with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony, and on tour in the Netherlands. Mari and Momo Kodama have offered the Mozart Concerto for Two Pianos No. 10, at the Festival International de Piano La Roque d’Anthéron, in Japan and throughout the world. Mari Kodama has played with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the NDR Sinfonieorchester, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Berkeley Symphony, and Tokyo’s NHK Symphony.

Mari Kodama has presented exceptionally well-received complete Beethoven sonata cycles in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Nagoya, and has appeared in recital in New York, Paris, in Spain, Germany, and much of the U.S. In February 2008 she performed a special program in Vienna celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Schoenberg Center.

In fall 2014 Mari marked a significant stage in her recording career with the release of the complete Beethoven Sonatas box set on the Pentatone label, the culmination of a decade’s work. Mari began recording Beethoven’s full oeuvre of piano sonatas in 2003 with the release of the first CD and concluded in 2013 with the final disc.

In addition to the box set, Mari’s discography also includes Prokofiev’s Concertos nos. 1 and 3 with the Philharmonia Orchestra on the ASV label, and Chopin No. 2 and Carl Loewe's Second Piano Concerto with the Russian National Orchestra on PentaTone Classics, Beethoven’s Piano concerti Nos. 1-5 and Beethoven’sTriple Concerto with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano.

Mari made her New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 1995. Her U.S. festival appearances include Mostly Mozart, Bard Music Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, California’s Midsummer Mozart Festival, Ravinia, and Aspen. In Europe she has appeared at festivals in Lockenhaus, Lyon, Montpelier, Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, Verbier, La Roque D’Antheron and évian.

Mari Kodama was born in Osaka and raised in Germany and Paris. At the Conservatoire National in Paris, she studied piano with Germaine Mounier and chamber music with Genevieve Joy-Dutilleux. She has also worked with Tatiana Nikolaeva and Alfred Brendel.

(September 2016. Please discard previously dated materials and contact before making any alterations or cuts.)