Mari Kodama’s profoundly nuanced yet natural musicality and her unique ability to unite tonal expressivity with a clear sense of form have made her a leading international pianist. An authoritative Beethoven interpreter, Mari earns consistent praise for her virtuosity across a broad range of repertoire that includes orchestral, chamber, and solo works by composers of all eras.
During the 2018/2019 season, Mari Kodama will tour Japan in duo performances with her sister, pianist Momo Kodama, appear at the Gala Concert for the opening of La Scala, performing John Adams’ Hallelujah Junction for two pianos, four hands with Momo Kodama, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Orchestre la Sinfonia de Lanaudière, at Quebec’s Théâtre Hector-Charland, Stéphane Laforest conducting.
Mari Kodama’s highlights of the 2017-2018 included appearances with the Düsseldorf Symphony under Michiyoshi Inoue in Mozart’s Double Piano Concerto with her sister Momo Kodama, with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, again under Michiyoshi Inoue in Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5, and with the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under David Coleman in Carl Loewe’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Spring 2018 took her from the Trans-Siberian Art Festival, Mozart’s Concerto K. 488 with Canada’s Sherbrooke Symphony under Stéphane Laforest, and to Holland and Germany for duo recitals with Momo Kodama. Mari Kodama completed her cycle of the Beethoven Sonatas in Japan, which started in summer 2016, playing the last three sonatas in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo (June 2018). Mari also joined colleagues Andrey Baranov, Clara Bellegarde, Christian Gerhaher, Matt Haimovitz, Eivind Holtzmark Ringstad, Gerold Huber, Momo Kodama, Svetlana Marakova, Pascal Moragues, Luigi Piovano, Grazia Raimondi, Hartmut Rohde, Pavel Vernikov for chamber music at the Festival Tra Luce e sogno, in Postignano Castello, Italy.
Mari Kodama’s discography features Tchaikovsky’s Ballet Suites for Piano Duo, with Momo Kodama and Manuel de Falla’s Noches en los jardines de España with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Kazuki Yamada (both on Pentatone). In 2018, Pentatone, with whom Mari Kodama shares a long-term collaboration, released her recording of Martinu’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, together with Momo Kodama and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille under Lawrence Foster.
Beethoven’s piano works form a focal point of Mari Kodama’s recording activities, and her interpretations have become standard-setting. She is one of few female pianists to record the composer’s complete sonatas, and her 2014 boxed set release of these pieces on the Pentatone label received critical acclaim.
Mari Kodama is a regular jury member of international competitions. She recently served at the Cliburn Competition, judged the invitation-only participants competing in the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris’ Play/Direct Academy’s (PPDA) final round of performing and conducting, and served as the President of the jury of the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy.
“Intelligently measured power and passionate conviction.”