Tomoko Kanamaru, pianist

“…Kanamaru played exquisitely, whether brimming with rhythmic drive or melting with lyricism.” —Ken Keaton, Palm Beach Daily News

As a versatile recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative artist, Japanese pianist Tomoko Kanamaru has garnered the respect of musicians and the acclaim of critics. Having been praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a “charismatic pianist,” Ms. Kanamaru continues to capture audiences’ attention with her stunning virtuosity and unequaled sense of lyricism.

Tomoko Kanamaru made her first public performance with a professional orchestra at the age of nine in Japan. She has since then been seen in numerous concert venues in the world, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York; Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; Sumida Toriphony Hall in Tokyo; and Stefaniensaal in Graz, Austria. She made her concerto debut in the United States with the Savannah Symphony Orchestra as part of the Orchestra’s classical series in December 2000. During the summer of the same year, Ms. Kanamaru was featured in one of the National Repertory Orchestra’s concerts at the Breckenridge Music Festival in Colorado. Ms. Kanamaru recently appeared with the Toledo Symphony and with the Binghamton Philharmonic, performing Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto, and Stravinsky’s Petrushka respectively. During the 2009-2010 season, she performed Liszt’s First Concerto with the Middletown Symphony Orchestra (Ohio) for its Season Finale Concert. For the 2010-11 season, Ms. Kanamaru is scheduled to perform Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto with the Symphony of Southeast Texas as a part of the Classical Master Series Concert, in addition to her debut appearance as a guest artist for the Philharmonic Ensembles at Merkin Concert Hall in New York.

Other past appearances include concerts presented by Karl Böhm Foundation in Germany, the Kravis Performing Arts Center in Florida, Rode Kruis Amsterdam in Holland, and Bechstein Piano Centre in New York for the Grand Opening Series among others. She recently performed the Mozart’s Quintet with the Philharmonic Quintet of New York. With an enthusiasm for new music, Ms. Kanamaru has performed works by acclaimed contemporary composers: she premiered Eric Ewazen’s Trio, Gold Cost Harmony with MirrorImage, horn duo, with which she also premiered Paul Basler’s Majaliwa during the Fall 2009 Tour at ten US venues. With hornist Randy Gardner and oboist Mark Ostoich, Ms. Kanamaru gave a premier performance of a Trio by Douglas Lowry in Denver, Colorado during the summer in 2008. Ms. Kanamaru’s performances have also been heard on radio broadcasts, television, and commercials in Japan and the United States. She has recorded solo and chamber music works for the Nippon Columbia label. She has also performed in the MirrorImage at the Opera, which was released from The MSR Classics during the summer 2008.

Besides maintaining an active performance schedule, Ms. Kanamaru has devoted herself to teaching piano and collaborative arts, and is a sought-after lecturer and guest speaker across the country. Through the invitation of the Yamaha Corporation of America, she has given master classes and seminars to teachers in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Fredericksburg, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Ms. Kanamaru has written articles for several publications, in addition to co-editing more than 30 volumes of educational piano music with the Yamaha Music Foundation. During the summer 2009, Ms. Kanamaru presented a workshop at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago, and the Washington Post included an interview with her on the subject during the same week. She was also interviewed for the BBC’s The World Today, which was broadcast worldwide. Having previously held teaching positions at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, College of Mount St. Joseph, Ms. Kanamaru currently serves as Associate Professor/Keyboard Area Coordinator at The College of New Jersey.

Ms. Kanamaru holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in music from Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo, an Advanced Certificate from The Juilliard School, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati. Her principal teachers include Tetsuro Ishikawa, Jeffrey Kahane, Eugene and Elisabeth Pridonoff, and Yoheved Kaplinsky. She continues her studies with Benjamin Kaplan in London, while occasionally receiving coaching from Maestro Ignat Solzhenitsyn.