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IKU MIWA is acclaimed a Japanese pianist whose performance conveys the atmosphere of Viennese music most eloquently in her generation. Having gained deep trust of principal musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, she regularly works with the orchestra's concertmasters such as Rainer Küchl, Rainer Honeck and Volkhard Steude, and the orchestra's principal flutist Wolfgang Schulz, as well as the Vienna Solisten Trio, comprising of Rainer Honeck, Franz Bartolomey, who is the orchestra's principal cellist, and Ernst Ottensamer, who is the orchestra's principal clarinet. Also, she has performed with Hansjorg Schllenberger,Prazak Quartet,Michal Kanka and Sebastian Manz etc.
Born into a musical family and raised in a rich musical environment, Iku Miwa began the piano from early childhood, and later studied under Midori Miura, Hisako Oshima, Prof. Hans Graf, Prof. Wolfgang Watzinger, and Prof. Heinz Medjimorec. After graduating from the Music Division of the Toho Girls' High School in Tokyo, she moved to Vienna to continue her studies at the Hochschule fur Musik, which unanimously chose her the finest student. The Austrian government recognized her outstanding achievement at the school with a special certificate.
In the international scene of competitions, Ms. Miwa was awarded the first prize at the Piano Division of "Palma d'oro" International Competition 1989 in Finale Ligure, Italy, receiving a unanimous vote from the jury. Also, she received prizes at Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, Japan and the International Schubert Competition Dortmund, Germany.
Following her victories at the international competitions, Ms. Miwa launched her international career while based in Vienna. She has performed at Brahmssall of Wiener Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus. Also, she has appeared with the Dortmund Philharmonic, Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin, Orchestra of Oper Halle, Germany, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra, Nice Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. In Japan, she has appeared as soloist with the New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Century Orchestra Osaka, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Gunma Symphony Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Central Aichi Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, and Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo. She regularly performs chamber music with concertmasters and principal players of leading Japanese orchestras including the NHK Symphony Orchestra and New Japan Philharmonic.
Her successful concert series entitled "Miracles of 4,254 Days - Mozart in Vienna" which took place between 2003 and 2006 in Tokyo and focused on the works Mozart wrote in Vienna, brought Ms. Miwa to wide attention. At the five-concert series, she performed not only piano solo pieces and concertos but also opera and orchestra works in piano solo arrangement. Her performance, which was rich in Viennese atmosphere, received high acclaim.
Beside her regular concert appearances, Ms. Miwa was the piano music supervisor for the popular TV drama series "Nodame Cantabile" (Fuji TV Network) as well as the show's related productions. Also, she collaborated with the Japanese "rakugo" storyteller, Shumputei Koasa, and published a collection of her essays.
Iku Miwa's performances can be seen on television broadcasts and are also available on CD. Her recent releases in particular include "Bartok Piano Works" and "Miwa Iku - Schubert" (King International) as well as "Mozartiana / Iku Miwa" & "Mozartiana II/ Iku Miwa" (Octavia Records), all to popular acclaim with each having been featured as a 'Specially Selected Disc' or 'Specially Selected Disc - Honorable Mention' for the Record Geijutsu magazine published by Ongaku no Tomo.
Being a pianist who boasts a broad repertoire ranging from classical to modern music, Iku Miwa is equally in demand as a soloist and chamber musician who continues in the tradition of the Viennese performance style, and we will be looking forward even more of her musical projects in future.
Iku Miwa is currently a professor of Yamagata University.
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