At a glance
…pianism of the highest orderThe Times
Noriko Ogawa has achieved considerable renown throughout the world. Appearing with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras, as well as an extensive discography with BIS Records, Noriko’s highly acclaimed performances set her apart from her contemporaries.
Noriko Ogawa has achieved considerable renown throughout the world since her success at the Leeds International Piano Competition. Noriko’s “ravishingly poetic playing” (Telegraph) sets her apart from her contemporaries, and acclaim for her complete Debussy series with BIS Records (“If you like your Debussy to sound like the musical equivalent of a chilled white wine, Noriko Ogawa is the pianist for you” Roger Vignoles, BBC Radio 3, CD Review), confirms her as a fine Debussy specialist. Her Images Book I and II were chosen as the top recommendation ‘exquisite delicacy’ by Stephen Walsh, BBC Radio 3’s CD Review, in January 2014. Noriko’s latest recording for BIS records of solo piano music by Eric Satie, released in 2016, received high praise from Classic FM, Gramophone and The Arts Desk and a 5* review from BBC Music Magazine.
Noriko appears with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras including recent and forthcoming performances with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of Richard Dubugnon’s Piano Concerto. Noriko made her BBC Proms debut in August 2013 with the BBC Concert Orchestra (conducted by Barry Wordsworth) and appeared again in 2014 with the Endymion Ensemble. She has been appointed Vice President of the St Cecilia Orchestra in Ripon, Honorary Patron of the Ipswich Orchestral Society and, from January to June 2012, was the Artistic Director for the Reflections on Debussy Festival, hosted by BBC Philharmonic and Bridgewater Hall. In 2015 she continued her relationship with the Bridgewater Hall as Associate Artist for the Ravel and Rachmaninov Festival alongside Peter Donohoe.
Noriko is also renowned as a recitalist and chamber musician. Notable chamber projects include a tour of Japan with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Ensemble and the leader of the Vienna Philharmonic, Rainer Honeck. With her piano duet partner Kathryn Stott, Noriko has performed Malcolm Arnold’s Concerto for Two Pianos (Three Hands) at the 2013 BBC Proms, has toured in Japan and given premieres of Graham Fitkin’s double piano concerto Circuit. Noriko has also collaborated with Steven Isserlis, Isabelle van Keulen, Martin Roscoe, Michael Collins and Peter Donohoe.
As an advocate of commissioning, Noriko has been involved in numerous premieres including works by Richard Dubugnon, Takemitsu, Graham Fitkin and Dai Fujikura, as well as ‘Le Tombeau de Rachmaninov’, specially written for Noriko by eight composers and premiered at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. In addition to recording and performing, Noriko is a sought-after presenter, both on the radio and on television, appearing as a piano expert on the BBC3 coverage of the Leeds Piano Competition in 2016, and on BBC Worldwide in ‘Visionaries’ as an advocate for Takemitsu and in programmes for NHK and Nippon Television. As an adjudicator, she regularly judges the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, Munich International Piano Competition, Honens International Piano Competition and the Scottish International Piano Competition. Noriko has been appointed as Chairperson of the Jury for Japan’s prestigious 10th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 2018.
In Japan, Noriko acts as artistic advisor to the MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall in her hometown. In 1999, the Japanese Ministry of Education awarded her their Art Prize in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the cultural profile of Japan throughout the world and she has also been awarded the Okura Prize for her outstanding contribution to music in Japan. As a writer, Noriko has completed her first book (published in Japan), and her Japanese translation of Susan Tomes’s book Out of Silence – a pianist’s yearbook has been reprinted due to popular demand, with the Japanese music magazine Ongaku no tomo saying “Ogawa translates Tomes’ elegant composition into very beautiful Japanese with deep empathy and affection” (August 2012).
Noriko is passionate about charity work, particularly after the earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan in early 2011. Since the earthquake she has raised over £40,000 for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Fund and is keen to keep fundraising. Noriko also founded Jamie’s Concerts, a series for autistic children and parents, and is a Cultural Ambassador for the National Autistic Society.
Noriko lives with her partner Philip and their cat Sox. When not practising she enjoys writing and cooking for friends.
The new Kings Place series features Stile Antico, Noriko Ogawa and the Sacconi Quartet as well as Edition Peters composers Judith Bingham and Roxanna Panufnik. Read more
Noriko Ogawa has featured in a BBC music magazine article ‘Perfect Partners'. Read more
We are delighted to be celebrating our 10th anniversary this week, as we herald the successes of our long-time artists, festivals and concert series. Read more
Noriko's new disc has been praised by The Sunday Times, BBC Music Magazine, Classic FM, BBC Radio 3, and others Read more
The unprecedented success of her Jamie's Concerts has led Noriko Ogawa to perform five more concerts in venues across the UK Read more
What sets her apart from other pianists is her wonderful sense of timing… [Ogawa] allows the music to breathe, while maintaining the forward momentumThe Times
…just one of myriad spell-binding moments where clarity of local detail, a broader sense of gesture and an awareness of the structural whole are in perfect alliance, supported by superb sound.Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine
The soloist, Noriko Ogawa, played with crystalline precision in striking music that alternates between percussive chords and floating melismasThe Observer
Ampere is another wicked puppet show, the string-puller the fearless Noriko Ogawa, whose jolts at the piano are virtuosically pursued by the orchestra for 25 minutes of teasing charm…Neil Fisher, The Times
Ogawa is unfailingly beautiful, truly poeticChristopher Howell, Music Web International
…poetic and virtuoso performance…Waikato Times
Noriko Ogawa demonstrated exquisite tonal control and musical clarity, with some delightful bass sonorities, bright droplets of sound, and elegantly nuanced layers and textures… Noriko Ogawa performed them with obvious humour, warmth and charm, underpinned by expert and tasteful pedalling and superb technical facility.Frances Wilson, Bachtrack
Noriko Ogawa's superb performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 held the audience in rapt attention, as she followed the constantly shifting emotional and stylistic contours. The virtuosity of her playing never drew attention to itself but recreated the moods with transparency.Nottingham Evening Post
Ogawa’s playing has immense sensitivity and command – an excellent start to this cycle.Gramophone
Selected Discography —
SATIE - Piano Music Vol. 2
SATIE - Piano Music Vol. 1
BBC Music Magazine, 5*
In this utterly delightful disc she manages to convey not only Satie’s quirkiness, but his honesty… She also, as we know, has a fine technique.
MOZART - Mozart Piano Sonatas No. 10, 11, 12
One would hope that Ogawa has much more Mozart to offer, because this is an exquisite presentation that other pianists should envy. Highly recommended.
DEBUSSY - Piano Music, Vol. 1 – Vol.5
BBC Music Magazine
Her playing is never less than sensitive and beautiful, the melting texture she extracts at the end of the Suite bergamasque’s ‘Passepied’ being just one of myriad exquisite moments
GRAHAM FITKIN - Circuit
Peter Burwasser, Fanfare
Noriko Ogawa and Kathryn Stott … are both superb, displaying rock-solid rhythmic pulse, delicate phrasing, and beautiful tone.
TCHEREPNIN - Complete Symphonies & Piano Concertos
BBC Music Magazine
The soloist, Noriko Ogawa, played with crystalline precision in striking music that alternates between percussive chords and floating melisma
RACHMANINOV - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 4; Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43
BBC Music Magazine
The clarity of Ogawa’s fingerwork in some of the fast passagework in the Finale is a joy to behold, as is her seductive and caressing approach to the slow movement
TAKEMITSU - A String Around Autumn
Noriko Ogawa judges the balance sensitively...
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV - Orchestral Works
Ogawa responds to every fleeting whimsicality with such clarity and refinement that you are lost in wonder