“Mitsuko Uchido is one of perhaps just a handful of classical pianists whose work can justifiably be mentioned alongside the great players of the past – Rachmaninov, Schnabel, Cortot, Michelangeli.” (ABC Radio National, Australia)
This season, Uchida is artist-in-residence with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Her residency includes performances of Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Sir Simon Rattle, and a series of four chamber music concerts. She is also artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Vienna and at the Salzburg Mozartwoche.
Here you can enjoy an excerpt from the third movement of the mentioned Schumann a minor Piano Concerto performance as of February 13, 2009:
Excerpt third movement:
Interview with Uchida on the Schumann concerto:
Born in Atami, a seaside town close to Tokyo, Japan, Uchida moved to Vienna, Austria when she was twelve years old with her diplomat parents after her father was named the Japanese ambassador to Austria. She enrolled at the Vienna Academy of Music to study with Richard Hauser, and later Wilhelm Kempff and Stefan Askenase, and remained in Vienna to study after her father was transferred back to Japan after five years. She gave her first Viennese recital at the age of 14 at the Vienna Musikverein.
In 1969 she won the first prize in the Beethoven Competition in Vienna and in 1970 the second prize in the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition. Then, in 1975, she won second prize in the Leeds Piano Competition. From 2002 to 2007 she served as artist-in-residence for the Cleveland Orchestra, where she led performances of all of Mozart’s solo piano concertos.
She is an acclaimed interpreter of the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Schoenberg. She has recorded all of Mozart’s piano sonatas (a project that won the Gramophone Award), and concerti, the latter with the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey Tate. She is further noted for her recordings of Beethoven’s complete piano concerti with Kurt Sanderling conducting, Beethoven’s late piano sonatas, and a Schubert piano cycle. Her recording of the Debussy Études won another Gramophone Award, and so did her recording of the Schoenberg piano concerto. In April 2008, BBC Music Magazine presented her its Instrumentalist of the Year and Disc of the Year award. She is distinguished as an interpreter of the works of the Second Viennese School (read the interview from The Guardian below).
She is an Artistic Director of the Marlboro Music School and Festival, along with fellow pianist Richard Goode. She is also a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, an organization established to help young artists develop and sustain international careers. Uchida is a recipient of the 1986 Suntory Music Award.
Interview from The Guardian, February 2006: