Japanese marimbist Momoko Kamiya first received international recognition when she was awarded the first prize at the Luxembourg International Marimba competition in 1995. The Toyota Foundation selected her as one of “The Top Young Artists Today” in 2001. In 2005 she was recognized by Kawasaki City, Japan for her distinguished musical activities and received the Azalea Cultural Prize.
Ms. Kamiya actively presents concerts and masterclasses throughout Japan and abroad. She has served on the juries of international competitions in 10 countries. In 2008, she had her New York City debut in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has released five recordings on the Phillips label: Marimba Cocktail (1996 won best recording prize), Arabesque, Marimba Japanesque, Asian Scene, and Marimba Virtuoso. Her most recent CD, Pieces of Peace, has been released by the Classic Concert label in 2011. She has made numerous concerto performances with major orchestras in Japan and has also appeared abroad with orchestras such as Radio Symphony Orchestra Luxembourg, Beijing Philharmonic, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Bucharest Radio Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, and most recently, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra which she had the world premier of the new Marimba Concerto composed by Kazunori Miyake. In the recent years, she has a close partnership and collaborates often in with Bogdan Bacanu, the marimbist and the professor at Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz.
She graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts with the honor of being the first successful candidate in its history as a marimba soloist. In the following year she entered the Juilliard School and completed the Bachelors of Music in three years and was honored with many scholarships. She is a Professor at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music and a Guest Professor at Elizabeth Music University. She is also a faculty member at Kunitachi College of Music, Aichi Prefectural University of Art, and Okinawa Prefectural University of Art. Also she has often invited to teach at many music seminars in Japan and abroad including International Summer Academy Mozarteum.
Momoko Kamiya is a YAMAHA artist and plays the YM5100 marimba.
Photo: Reishi Eguma