Momo Kodama's international upbringing is reflected in her musical choices, particularly marrying the music of France with that of Japan. Both Momo and her sister Mari were born in Osaka, but raised in Europe, where they studied piano with Germaine Mounier at the Paris Conservatoire. When Momo won the 1991 Munich Competition, she was its youngest winner to date. Kodama began establishing her concert career with the leading orchestra of Japan: the NHK Symphony, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, and the New Japan Philharmonic. She has since appeared with several well-respected European orchestras and conductors, as well as in Israel, Brazil, and the United States. Kodama's repertoire includes much of the modern French literature for piano. She frequently performs the music of Messiaen, having been encouraged by Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen, who requested that she and Isabelle Faust premiere Messiaen's 1933 Fantaisie pour violon et piano, which had never been publically performed. Kodama commissioned Toshio Hosokawa to write Stunden Blumen (2008) using the same instrumentation as Messiaen's Quatuor pour la fin du temps. She, Xavier Phillips, Carolin Widmann, and Jörg Widmann performed both at the Lucerne Festival and elsewhere. Jörg Widmann has also written music for her, as has Ichiro Nodaira. Other musicians she's performed with include violinists Christian Tetzlaff and Renaud Capuçon, cellists Steven Isserlis and Rohan de Saram, and her sister, Mari. Her first commercial recording was a Debussy program, released in 2002, followed by one of Chopin in 2003. In 2012, ECM released her recording La Vallée des Cloches, featuring the music of Ravel, Messiaen, and Takemitsu.
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Classical - Released March 12, 2021 | ECM New Series
Momo Kodama whose acclaimed New Series solo album "Point and Line" contrasted Toshio Hosakawa and Claude Debussy here presents the piano concerto which Hosakawa wrote for her, the shimmering Lotus under the moonlight. Composed in 2006, Lotus is also a homage to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with distant echoes of Mozart's Concerto No. 23 in A Major, the work with which it is paired here in a concert recording from Japan, with Maestro Seiji Ozawa and his Mito Chamber Orchestra. In a composer's note Hosakawa writes that "Momo Kodama's transparency, sensitivity and expressiveness have continued to inspire my piano music deeply. As she touches this magical instrument, she touches the mysterious energy of the universe and stirs my soul". © ECM New Series