Mari Kawamura is a concert pianist whose curiosity has taken her in a variety of directions ranging from improvisation and dance to biology and physics. Kawamura is drawn to music, which utilizes the entirety of the piano as an expressive device. She is as equally fascinated by works that showcase the tremendous agility of the instrument, as by compositions that explore its ability to produce cavernous resonances, complex spectral sounds, and unpitched noise.
Her repertoire includes music by William Byrd, Scriabin, Xenakis, and Japanese composers such as Toru Takemitsu and Michio Mamiya. Kawamura has also collaborated with a number of living composers, premiering new works by Joseph Bourdeau, Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh, Lil Lacy, and Anthony Vine, among many others.
Kawamura has presented solo recitals on concert series hosted by Carnegie Mellon University, University of Northern Colorado, Piano Spheres, MONK Space in Los Angeles, and Center for New Music in San Francisco. She has appeared in major festivals, such as Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Darmstadt International Summer Course, and SICPP in Boston, at which her 2013 performance of Xenakis’ Dikthas was described as "an unrelenting volcanic eruption'' by NEWMUSICBOX.
In 2019, Kawamura was featured on Jeffrey Holmes’ album, “May the Bridges I Burn Light My Way,” and in the Fall of 2020, she toured Denmark with Anna Jalving and Morten Lohmann Soenders, to premiere Lil Lacy’s piano trio, “Plant Native.”
Kawamura received her bachelor’s degree from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, where she studied with Emiko Kumagai and Vadim Sakharov. She went on to win the Winfred Christie Award scholarship to study at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where she earned her master’s degree under Tatiana Sarkissova, and was awarded a prestigious DipRAM prize for her outstanding final recital.
After studying with Stephen Drury at the New England Conservatory, she pursued her Doctorate in Contemporary Music Performance at the University of California, San Diego, where she trained under Aleck Karis. Her research dealt with ma, an ancient Japanese concept concerning space and time, and is focused on identifying ma-like structures in music outside of Japan's sphere of influence with the goal of demonstrating that the concept of “charged stillness” is a widespread global phenomenon.
Her solo album, “MA ~ space between ~,” is available on Furious Artisan.