Kimiko Ishizaka received worldwide attention and recognition in 2012 for her innovative recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Ms. Ishizaka, wanting to make Bach accessible to as many people as possible, released the recording directly into the public domain, making her playing available to all via the internet.  .  Praise for this Kickstarter-funded project was unanimous:

“Ishizaka's interpretation is characterised by straightforward musicianship, immaculate technical aplomb, and a warm, beautifully modulated sonority. Counterpoint passes back and forth between the hands in a conversational and judiciously balanced manner, while a strong lyrical impulse informs the cross-handed variations' rapid, bravura passages.”Jed Distler, Gramophone

“She has the fleet fingers to speed through the virtuoso variations with compelling clarity and the sensitivity to probe the dramatic potential of the slower, more profound numbers, pleasurably aided by her consistently lovely tone. “ - Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare Magazine

Born to German-Japanese parents in Bonn, Germany, Ms. Ishizaka began her piano studies at the age of four, first with her mother, and then with Professor Roswitha Gediga-Glombitza at the Hochschule für Musik Köln. Further instruction came from Prof. Peter Feuchtwanger, Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, the Alban Berg Quartet, and the Amadeus Quartet.

Early on, Kimiko distinguished herself as a soloist and chamber performer, especially in the context of the Ishizaka Trio, which consisted of her and her younger brothers.  The Ishizaka Trio won numerous awards, including the 1998 German Music Competition prize, and received enthusiastic critical and artistic acclaim. When Kurt Masur, Music Director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, heard the trio perform, he exclaimed, “these three siblings play with an extraordinary musicality, huge impetus, and amazing balance.” 

Other prizes won by the Ishizaka Trio include:

  • The Vittorio Gui International Chamber Music Competition
  • Three consecutive 1st prizes in the International Charles Hennen Competion in The Netherlands
  • The Menschenskinder prize from RTL (1995) 

Since 2000, Ms. Ishizaka has devoted herself to a solo career, performing numerous recitals and as soloist with orchestra throughout Europe and North America.  She has established a fine reputation for her interpretations not only of Bach, but Chopin as well. 

 “ [Ishizaka] opened the evening with excerpts from Chopin's Préludes op. 28 and Etudes op. 10 and showed not only her formidable technique, but also much feeling and sensibility for the subtle tones between the notes.” – Guido Krawinkel, Bonner General-Anzeiger

Away from the piano, Ms. Ishizaka devotes much of her time to the study of English language and literature, and to sports.   

This biography was most recently edited by...
IsabelleW - 12 Aug 2013
IsabelleW - 12 Aug 2013