Born in Japan, Momo Kodama has lived in Europe from an early age. At 13 years old she entered class of Germaine Mounier at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique, Paris, where she received her first prizes in piano and chamber music before going on to study further with such eminent pianists as Murray Perahia, Andras Schiff and Tatiana Nikolaeva. Ms Kodama has been awarded numerous prizes in Japan and in Europe, notably the Munich Competition in 1991 of which she was the youngest-ever winner and which brought her to the attention of the international music world.
Already having established an extraordinary career in Japan, performing regularly with the foremost Japanese orchestras (NHK, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic) under conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Eliahu Inbal, Valery Gergiev and Seiji Ozawa, who confirmed her as a ‘remarkable talent’, her international popularity is increasing dramatically.
Since her US debut in 1991 with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano, she has been invited - and re-invited – by a large number of European and American orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Lyon, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, RAI Orchestra, Turin, Berlin Radio Symphony, Deutsche Symphony Orchestra Berlin, l’Orchestre de la Fondation Gulbenkian, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg etc. She has also worked with the world’s most prestigious conductors such as Rudolf Barshai, Gary Bertini, Gunther Herbig, Kent Nagano and Zdenec Macal. Her recent tour of Germany and Japan in November 2004, when she performed Beethoven’s first concerto with Sir Roger Norrington and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra brought immense success.
Momo Kodama is equally in demand as a recitalist and chamber musician. She is invited to the most prestigious halls and festivals in Europe and the United States – the Wigmore Hall, Tonhalle, Zurich, the Marlboro, Verbier, Lucerne, La Roque d’Anthéron, Davos, Berlin festivals, the Tivoli Festival, Copenhagen and the Enesco Festival, Bucarest. In 2003 she partnered Steven Isserlis at the Ivry Gitlis Festival, Cassis and the success of their collaboration led to a tour of Asia the following season. Ms Kodama has recently participated in the Folles Journée festivals in Nantes, Lisbon and Tokyo in concerts devoted to the classical repertoire from Clementi to Beethoven. During the 2004-2005 season she performed Beethoven’s complete violin sonatas with violinist Yuzuko Horigome, in Japan and various towns in Europe.
A large part of her repertoire is consecrated to music of modern times – she performed the music of Arvö Part at the Settembre Musica-Torino festival 2004, Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony (which she studied with Yvonne Loriod), Les Oiseaux Exotiques, les Visions de l’Amen with her sister Mari and the Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus which she performed to great success in Tokyo during the 2002 Messiaen Year. Ms Kodama is also the dedicatee of Lichtstudie 3 by Jorg Widmann, which she premiered at the Lucerne Festival and Echo by Ichiro Nodaira, dedicated to the Momo/Mari duo and performed in Berkeley and Berlin.
During the summer of 2005, she met once more with great success at La Roque d’Anthéron with her participation in an evening dedicated to Chopin and at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, where she played for the first time. Thus far, the 2005-2006 has seen return performances with the DSO (Mozart) and the Fondation Gulbenkian (Martinu) and she has also made her debut with the NDR Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg playing Mozart’s concerto in A major KV 488 and premiering Toshio Hosokawa concerto Lotus under the Moon, inspired by the same work. Ms Kodama is re-invited to La Roque d’Anthéron to perform a Messiaen programme including the world premiere, at the request of Madame Loriod, of the Fantasie for Violin and Piano with Isabelle Faust.
Momo Kodama has already made two remarkable recordings, the first a recital by Debussy in 2002 and the second a recital of Chopin. Her recent recording of the Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus by Olivier Messiaen, already on sale in Japan, is soon to be released in Europe.