Momo Kodama

Japanese pianist (Osaka, 1972 - )

Momo Kodama's early talent has opened her the doors to the most prestigious festivals. Her dual Japanese and European culture broadens a repertoire willingly oriented towards modern and contemporary music.

Momo Kodama moved to Germany with her family in her first year and began playing the piano at age 3. For the three following years, Germaine Mounier prepared her for the Paris’ Conservatoire admission exam, which she joined at age 13. She was awarded First Prize from the Epinal International Competition in 1987 and, the following year, First Prize for piano and chamber music at Paris’ Conservatoire. Among her teachers were Tatiana Nikolaeva, András Schiff and Murray Perahia.

In 1989, she was invited by the Théâtre du Châtelet in a young talent series to perform with Jean-Jacques Kantorow. In 1991, she was awarded second Grand Prize at the Munich International Competition (no first prize was awarded that year). Her career took off and she has performed frequently in Europe, the United States and Japan, under the direction of notable conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, who praised her "remarkable talent’’, Charles Dutoit, Eliahu Inbal and Valery Gergiev.

In 1992, her first recording was devoted to the Carnaval des Animaux, and gave her the opportunity to collaborate with her sister Mari Kodama and conductor Kent Nagano. She then recorded Debussy and Chopin, followed in 2012 by a recital with ECM mixing Ravel, Messiaen and Takemitsu.

Six landmark dates in the life of Momo Kodama:

1973: Her family moved to Germany
1985: Joined the Paris Conservatory in Germaine Mounier's class.
1991: Winner of the Munich Competition
2002: First solo recording dedicated to Debussy
2006: Created Messiaen's Fantasie pour violon et piano
2013: Interpreted the Catalogue d’oiseaux at the Messiaen Festival

Official site

Biography from Radio France’s Musical Documentation, November 2013