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Mari Kodama: “Even Seemingly Unbalanced Art Is Balanced Perfectly to Move Us. And Such Can Be Said for Performers. Pianists Should Aim to Have a Perfectly Balanced Triangle of the Mind, Heart, and Hands”


Mari Kodama’s interview illuminates her musical journey from the Paris Conservatory to global stages, shaped by formative years with diverse pianistic influences. Germaine Mounier imparted a deep appreciation for the delicate yet organized sound of French music, while Russian mentors highlighted the strength in the sometimes grotesque nature of their musical tradition. Alfred Brendel’s mentorship instilled a pursuit of perfect balance akin to the harmony found in visual art.

Kodama’s teaching philosophy, shaped by her varied education, emphasizes understanding students’ personalities within the context of musical traditions. As a seasoned performer, she meticulously prepares for orchestral collaborations, navigating the unique challenges of different orchestras and conductors.

Renowned for her diverse repertoire, Kodama’s choices reflect a commitment to presenting captivating, lesser-known works. Her interpretations of Tchaikovsky, Martinů, and Beethoven showcase a nuanced understanding of each composition. As a distinguished Beethoven interpreter, she approaches his music with an awareness of its historical context, balancing warmth and humor with profound complexity.

Looking ahead, Kodama anticipates the world premiere of Bruneau-Boulmier’s piano concerto, “Terra Nostra,” exploring environmental themes with unconventional instrumentation. Her ambitious Beethoven Sonatas Marathon in San Francisco symbolizes a celebration of piano development and musical exploration through the legacy of Beethoven’s compositions. In summary, Mari Kodama’s interview unveils a musical odyssey marked by diverse influences, meticulous preparation, and a commitment to shaping the future of classical music through teaching and innovative performances.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music