Mamiko Hirai

Having spent her early years in the State of Kentucky, Mamiko moved to Kyoto at the age of five. Mamiko began studying piano at the age of four and, with her talent being discovered soon thereafter, she began studying classical piano intensely at the age of seven. During that period, she began composing music, and during her elementary school years she entered various contests and won prizes for her piano performances as well as for the music she had composed.

Mamiko majored in piano at Toho Gakuen Music High School as well as Toho Gakuen College. After graduating from college, Mamiko began performing as a live pianist in theatrical events and other shows, while at the same time composing music for television commercials, television programs, and movies. She provided the music for commercials for a variety of corporations, including Canon, Shiseido, PILOT, and ROHTO. In television, her music was used as the theme song for Nippon Juudan Kokoro Tabi (NHK-BS Premium Channel, airing from 2011) and as background music for numerous other shows. Mamiko has also taken charge of the music for twelve different movies which screened at amphitheaters. She was an indispensable force in certain productions of the film director Yoshihiro Fukagawa (nine films to present, including Into the White Night released in 2011, and Love Letters at Sixty released in 2010).

Internationally, Mamiko has performed as part of the Kyoto “IMMAGE” unit “Maion” in the Japanese Festival in Florence, Italy in 2005, and has also appeared together with the classical guitarist Souichi Muraji at the S&R Foundation-sponsored “Music on the Potomac” concert of 2011.

While offering her music pieces for use in the media, in recent years Mamiko has also been focusing her energies on solo piano concerts and on creating a series of albums containing her “Piano Diary,” a collection of her original works. The first album conveying the imagery of her day-to-day emotions and unforgettable moments (released in 2007), the second album striving at a psychological portrait via piano taking a closer look at her inner being (scheduled to be released in 2013), and her “Piano Dairy” freely expressing every whim of her heart are fundamental to Mamiko and could even be said to be suitably classified as her life-work.

Mamiko has recently received the 2012 Washington Award by the S&R Foundation of Washington D.C. She will be debuting her first performance in the United States this autumn as a part of the Holiday Concert Series at the Everymay Mansion in Georgetown.

Award program: