Born Dec. 20, 1948 in Atami (Japan).
Mitsuko Uchida is a performer who brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own search for truth and beauty. She is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven, both in the concert hall and on CD, but she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern and Boulez for a new generation of listeners. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including The Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. Amongst many current projects, Uchida has recently been recording a selection of Mozart’s Piano Concerti with the Cleveland Orchestra, directing from the piano. The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote of their performances of K.466 and K.595 in April 2010, ‘Uchida turns in readings of such eloquence, one has no trouble understanding why they’re also being recorded for posterity’ and The Times wrote of the disc issued in October 2009 (K.491 and K.488), ‘Did even the great Clara Haskil play Mozart’s piano music as wonderfully, as completely – with intelligence and instinct perfectly fused – as Mitsuko Uchida?’
Highlights this season include performances with the Dresden Staatskappelle and Sir Colin Davis, a tour of Japan with the Cleveland Orchestra, performances with Chicago Symphony and Ricardo Muti, a European tour with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, the first part of a Beethoven Concerti cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis (spanning two seasons), a European and US solo recital tour, song recitals with Ian Bostridge, concerts at the Salzburg Festival, and a special project performing Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. These performances will take place in Aldeburgh, Winterthur, Hannover, Augsburg and the Salzburg Festival, and Uchida will be joined by Marina Piccinini, Barbara Sukowa, Mark Steinberg, Anthony McGill and Clemens Hagen.
Mitsuko Uchida performs with the world’s finest orchestras and musicians, in all the major concert halls. Some highlights have been her Artist-in-Residency at the Cleveland Orchestra, where she directed all the Mozart concerti from the keyboard over a number of seasons. She has also been the focus of a Carnegie Hall Perspectives series entitled ‘Mitsuko Uchida: Vienna Revisited’. She has featured in the Concertgebouw’s Carte Blanche series where she collaborated with Ian Bostridge, the Hagen Quartet, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as directing from the piano a performance of Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. Uchida has also been Artist-in-Residence at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, where she performed a series of chamber music concerts and a Beethoven Piano Concerti cycle with Sir Simon Rattle.
Mitsuko Uchida records exclusively for Decca and her recordings include the complete Mozart piano sonatas and piano concerti; the complete Schubert piano sonatas; Debussy’s Etudes; the five Beethoven piano concerti with Kurt Sanderling; a CD of Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Mark Steinberg; Die Schöne Müllerin with Ian Bostridge for EMI; the final five Beethoven piano sonatas; and the 2008 recording of Berg’s Chamber Concerto with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Pierre Boulez and Christian Tetzlaff. Autumn 2009 saw the release of a much-praised new disc of Mozart’s concerti No.23 in A Major K.488 and No.24 in C minor K.491, with Uchida directing the Cleveland Orchestra from the piano. In autumn 2010, a disc of Schumann’s solo piano music, featuring the Davidsbündlertänze, was released to great acclaim, and in January 2011 a second disc in The Cleveland Orchestra play-direct series featuring K.466 and K.595 was released.
Mitsuko Uchida has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to aiding the development of young musicians and is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. She is also Co-director, with Richard Goode, of the Marlboro Music Festival. In June 2009 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.