Reiko’s Story

Reiko Fujisawa 2014 - 381

There are many brilliant pianists around, but few are able to fuse the sensibilities of a musician raised in the Far East who trained in the West. Reiko Fujisawa took up the piano at the age of three. It was an unusual direction for the traditional family milieu in which she grew up in the most southerly of Japan’s four main islands: her parents played traditional Japanese instruments but were keen for Reiko to expand her musical horizons.

Reiko went on to study at the Musashino University of Music in Tokyo but was eager to further her knowledge abroad. She spent time in San Francisco and yet, with the high density of Japanese in the city, this too felt quite close to home. She then chose to follow the example of one of her Japanese piano teachers and travel to the UK. There she trained at Trinity College and with Martino Tirimo, Benjamin Kaplan and Yonty Solomon. She has been in London ever since.

Reiko has gone on to establish herself as an exciting and formidable virtuoso performer on the concert platform. She made her debut at the Southbank Centre in 1999, at the Wigmore Hall in 2003 and performed with the Soloists of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the inaugural season at Cadogan Hall in London in 2006. She has since made appearances at prestigious venues all over the UK and overseas. Her UK festival performances include Brighton, Belfast and Warwick & Leamington.

So what actually happens when Reiko sits at a keyboard and performs? The dominant flavour Reiko looks for in her recitals is personal warmth. Her constant goal is to present to the audience a dialogue between pianist and composer. She feels especially at home among the deep emotional textures of Beethoven, the joyful spirit of Schubert’s impromptus and – her most recent discovery – in conversation with Bach.

What audiences experience, both in the studio and on stage, is a musician with a European sensibility who is still in touch with her musical roots in Japan. Her recitals have often engaged with works by contemporary Japanese composers such as Yoichi Togawa. Reiko was a featured artist at the Japan 2001 festival with the specially formed Ensemble Tōzai, which combines western and classical Japanese musicians. Their performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Channel 4. But her ensemble work doesn’t stop there. She also plays with the Principals of Sound and is looking forward to a new collaboration with the Carducci String Quartet.

The culmination of Reiko’s solo career so far is an acclaimed CD, released on Quartz. In its review theartsdesk.com found the recording “irresistible”. See if you agree by clicking here. Her new recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations is due to be released in 2018.

Click here for Reiko’s concert programme biography

Click here for a selection of print quality images 

October 1st 2017
Tags: Press

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2017/18 Concert Season preview

Reiko is delighted to announce her exciting plans for the 2017/18 concert season, with a look ahead to her special project "Clara 2019". Press release available to download here Click on the image below or click here to view in full screen
July 14th 2017
Tags: Clara 2019

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The Travelling Clara

‘The Travelling Clara’ A trilogy of concerts spaced out over 2019, reimagining concerts of the virtuoso Clara Schumann as she travelled across Europe, performing the most significant piano concertos of the nineteenth century. 1) Clara in Leipzig Robert Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor. Clara premiered her husband's only completed piano concerto 1 January ...
March 8th 2017
Tags: Clara 2019

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Clara 2019

Clara Schumann, née Wieck 1819–1896 To celebrate the bicentenary of Clara Schumann in 2019, Reiko will be performing Clara's music throughout her programmes. One special recital we have planned is 'Clara Schumann: An inspirational life in words and music'. Combining the music of Clara and Robert Schumann, together with other works ...
February 7th 2016
Tags: Goldberg Variations

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Goldberg Project

In July 2016, Reiko will be embarking on her Goldberg Project. Over the next year, Reiko Fujisawa takes on JS Bach’s magnificent ‘Goldberg Variations’ BWV 988, and will perform this work across the country, in a variety of performance venues. Upheld as one of the greatest examples of variation form, the ...
February 7th 2016
Tags: Goldberg Variations

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530,000 notes!

As my final concerts of 2016 are approaching, I can look back over an amazing few months. My Goldberg Project has been so wonderful. With seven performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations across the country, I have performed in such incredible venues and met so many wonderful people. That’s over 530,000 ...

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