PianoMitsuko Uchida
© Decca / Justin PumfreyArtist

„haunting and beautiful beyond words“

The Independent
30 / 32

Biography

Legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own quest for truth and beauty. Renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven, she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern and Boulez for a new generation of listeners.

In 2017/18, Mitsuko Uchida will embark on a two-year Schubert Sonata series, featuring 12 of Schubert’s major works which she will tour throughout Europe and North America. Main venues will include the Royal Festival Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Berlin Philharmonie and the Vienna Musikverein. In the same season, she will also appear with the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle, the Chicago Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel in addition to directing the Cleveland Orchestra in Mozart concerti.


 

Artist in Residence at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in 2016/17, Mitsuko Uchida played the opening piano recital in January 2017. Last season marked the start of a three-year collaboration with the Southbank Centre in London and since 2016, Mitsuko Uchida is an Artistic Partner of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, directing Mozart concerti from the keyboard in tours of major European venues and Japan. With a strong commitment to chamber music, Mitsuko Uchida collaborates closely with the world’s finest musicians. Recently, Mitsuko Uchida partnered with Jörg Widmann for a series of concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Elbphilharmonie and Carnegie Hall and has collaborated with Dorothea Röschmann, the Ebène Quartet and Magdalena Kožená.

Mitsuko Uchida’s loyal relationship with the finest orchestras and concert halls has resulted in numerous residencies. She has been Artist-in-Residence at the Cleveland Orchestra and at the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Salzburg Mozartwoche and Lucerne Festival. Carnegie Hall dedicated to her a Perspectives series entitled ‘Mitsuko Uchida: Vienna Revisited’ and the Concertgebouw a Carte Blanche series.

Mitsuko Uchida records exclusively for Decca. Her extensive discography includes the complete Mozart and Schubert piano sonatas. Since 2011 Uchida has been recording Mozart’s Piano Concerti with the Cleveland Orchestra live in concert and directing from the piano. The first release won a Grammy Award in 2011. The last instalment featuring concerti K.453 and K.503 was released in autumn 2016. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including The Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. The ‘Schumann and Berg’ album, a collaboration with Soprano Dorothea Röschmann, won a Grammy Award in 2017.

Highly committed to aiding the development of young musicians, Mitsuko Uchida is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and Director of the Marlboro Music Festival. In June 2009 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In May 2012 she was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal and in 2014 received an Honorary Degree from the University of Cambridge.  A guest of honour at the Salzburg Mozartwoche in 2015, Mitsuko Uchida was awarded the Golden Mozart Medal. In October 2015, she received the Premium Imperiale Award from the Japan Arts Association.

SEASON 2017/2018
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Quotes

“This was Schubert with wings; Uchida seemed to hover over the keyboard, keeping the music’s wayward impulses under hair-trigger control. […] The way she played the last sonata [D.960] was haunting and beautiful beyond words.”

The Independent, Michael Church, 24.04.12

“Uchida is in many ways its ideal interpreter, bringing to the Concerto the same clarity of articulation and driving engagement that characterises her Mozart and Beethoven alike.”

The Guardian, Martin Kettle, 2.03.12

“Wie die Erschütterungen und der Wahnsinn dieser Sonate vor allem durch den ausufernden harmonischen Plan gespiegelt werden, das war eine unter den vielen Entdeckungen, die dieser große Abend in der bedingungslosen Vergegenwärtigung dieser Musik möglich machte.”

Berliner Zeitung, 24.02.12

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Discography

Schumann & BergSCHUMANN, BERG Röschmann, UchidaOct. 2015, Decca, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
MozartWorks by Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 20 & 27 (KV466 & KV595)Jan. 2011, Decca, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
SchumannWorks by Schumann: Fantasy in C Major & DavidsbündlertänzeSep. 2010, Decca, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
MozartPiano Concertos KV488 & KV491 by MozartSep. 2009, Decca, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
BeethovenPiano Sonatas No. 28, op.101 and No. 29, op.106 (Hammerklavier) by BeethovenAug. 2007, Philips, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon