“Kawai has a technique as effortless-seeming as her choice of repertory is enterprising. She moves from Gerald Barry to Liszt, from Byrd to Birtwistle, without a stylistic murmur, and her transcendental labours only leave her the fresher...”
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times
New CD of chamber music by James Dillon
Following her highly acclaimed recording of Dillon's solo piano series, The Book of Elements (NMC D091), this disc features Noriko Kawai in duo partnerships with Irvine Arditti and Hiroaki Takenouchi, and with the Arditti String Quartet. Traumwerk Book 3 (vln & piano), black/nebulae (two pianos) and the soadie waste for piano quintet are all first recordings. Earlier solo pieces, Dillug-Kefitsah (pf) and Del Cuarto Elemento (vln) complete the programme. NMC D131
From Andrew Clements' 5-star review in The Guardian:
"All generate indelible musical images that are unlike those of any other composer working today. Dillon's instrumental writing takes no prisoners, but the playing of Kawai and the Ardittis in all these works is remarkable too; no composer could hope for better"
Click here for full review
Unanimous critical acclaim for BBC Proms debut, August 2006
Click here for the reviews
NORIKO KAWAI studied at the Royal College of Music, London and the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. She has given many recitals and broadcasts throughout the world and is well known for the extraordinary range of her repertoire from Renaissance composers to new music, and innovative programmes juxtaposing standard and contemporary works.
Kawai has recently performed at festivals in Aldeburgh, Bath, Huddersfield, Macerata, Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels, Venice, Berlin and Valencia. She has given duo recitals with the violinist Irvine Arditti and concerts with the Leopold String Trio, the Arditti Quartet and the Quatuor Diotima.
For the NMC label Kawai has recorded works by Gerald Barry, and more recently James Dillon’s The Book of Elements Volumes I–V. The latter received unanimous critical acclaim including ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone (Sep 04). Kawai’s earlier Skryabin recital CD from Live Notes, Japan, was also hailed as a major artistic achievement (“…rivalling the greats of the so-called Golden Age…one of the great Skryabin recitals on disc.”).
On 10 August 2006, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov, she gave the world première of Dillon’s Piano Concerto at the BBC Proms. A second performance took place at the City Halls Glasgow on 23 September.
Recent concerto engagements include the first performances of Dillon’s Andromeda, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov, in London (BBC Proms 06) and Glasgow, and Lachenmann’s Ausklang in ‘Transcendent – the Music of Helmut Lachenmann’ presented by the Royal College of Music and the London Sinfonietta. In the autumn of 2007 Kawai also gave the French première of Andromeda, with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège/Pascal Rophé, at the festival Musica in Strasbourg, and the first performances of Dillon’s duo for cello and piano, The Hesperides, with Rohan de Saram, at the festivals Ultima in Oslo, and Sound in North-east Scotland.
Noriko Kawai was formerly a Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music, London and is currently Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano at the University of Minnesota.
Click here for selected repertoire: works for solo piano ranging from Renaissance to contemporary music, piano concertos, and chamber music (vc & pf, piano quintets, vln & pf, 2 pfs)
Two Poems Op.32; Fantasy Op.28;
Sonatas Nos.3, 4 & 5 Opp.23, 30 & 53;
Selected Etudes Op.8 & 42
Live Notes (Japan) WWCC-7265
“… rivalling the greats of the so-called Golden Age […] one of the great Skryabin recitals on disc.” In Tune magazine
Au Milieu ; Triorchic Blues; Sur les Pointes; Swinging Tripes and Trillibubkins
“… exhilaratingly virtuosic pianos solos, brilliantly played here by Noriko Kawai …” Arnold Whittall, Gramophone
The Book of Elements Volumes I–V
“… rich, strange and utterly riveting. The recording is beautifully fine-grained and warm and the performances from Kawai have just the right cat-like energy and delicate inwardness.” Ivan Hewett, BBC Music Magazine
Dillug-Kefitsah, solo pf; Traumwerk Book III, vln & pf, with Irvine Arditti; black/nebulae, 2 pfs, with Hiroaki Takenouchi; Del Cuarto Elemento, solo vln; the soadie waste, pf quintet, with Arditti Quartet
"All generate indelible musical images that are unlike those of any other composer working today. Dillon's instrumental writing takes no prisoners, but the playing of Kawai and the Ardittis in all these works is remarkable too; no composer could hope for better" Andrew Clements, The Guardian