“...elegance, tenderness, finesse, sensibility and even a kind of meditation, to name but a few qualifications, while at the same time not shunning extrovert and powerful expression where needed to get Beethoven’s assumed imagery feelings across.” (sa-cd.net review of Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 11-13, 15, 22, 27, Pentatone)
“Kodama’s A♭-Major Sonata is as lovely, lyrical, boisterous, and joyful as her “Hammerklavier” is suffused with majesty, nobility, and dignity. This earns a well-deserved place in the winner’s circle.” (Fanfare review of Beethoven: Piano Sonatas No. 29 in B♭, “Hammerklavier”; No. 28 in A♭ (Pentatone)
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. She marked a significant stage in her recording career in the fall of 2014 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.
PERFORMANCES – 2015
Highlights of Mari Kodama’s 2015 season features appearances in Europe, North America and Japan including a recital at the Folle Journée in Nantes, followed by a return to Japan to perform Poulenc‘s double concerto with Momo Kodama. She also appears in solo recital in San José (California), and in duo recital with her daughter Karin Kei Nagano in Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ontario), and at the Oxford Piano Festival in England. The 2015-2016 sees Mari perform on an extensive tour in Japan, in Germany and with the Orchestre philharmonique de Marseille.
Last season Ms. Kodama’s performed with the Gothenburg Symphony, the Jyväskylä Sinfonia where she plays the Alban Berg 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 her 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 with her sister, Momo Kodama, in Paris.
In the past few seasons, 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.
She has also performed ▪ Stenhammer’s Concerto No. 2 with the Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra ▪ 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.
With the release in Fall 2013 of the final CD, Mari completed her extraordinary project of recording the complete 32 Beethoven Sonatas for the PentaTone label. She has also recorded 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’s Triple Concerto with theDeutsches 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.