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Miki Sawada

Boston, MA         

Concert pianist Miki is best known for her Gather Hear Tour, in which she travels the country state-by-state with a piano in a van to perform free shows in rural community gathering spaces. The project explores the power of classical music to bring us together through an elevated communal experience, with the goal of igniting real connections among Americans across state lines in a time of deep division. Past tours in Alaska (2017) and West Virginia (2018) have been recipients of grants from Alaska Humanities Forum and New Music USA.

Highlights of Miki’s 2019 season included debut performances in Norway in the Arctic Circle, as well as a solo feature at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY. Other recent highlights include: a solo recital on the Dame Myra Hess concert series in Chicago which was broadcast live on WFMT radio, a debut recital with cello partner Lukas Stasevskij at Helsinki Music Centre, solo recitals in Japan, Belgium, and the U.S., and contemporary music performances in New  York City at venues such as Spectrum NYC for Modern+ Piano Festival, DiMenna Center, The Kitchen for MATA Festival, and Museum of Natural History.  Miki’s performances in the past have been featured at venues and occasions such as:  Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art,  Lincoln Center Stage on Holland America Line, the Oneppo Chamber Music Series at Yale, MATA Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival,  Music on Main (Vancouver), Chicago Symphony Center’s Macy’s Day of Music, the Banff Centre, New Music New Haven, PianoFest in the Hamptons, Art Base (Belgium), and Moulin d’Andé (France). A frequent radio guest, she has been featured for live interviews and performances on WQXR (NYC), WFMT (Chicago), KUAC (Fairbanks), West Virginia Public Broadcasting (Charleston), and All Classical Portland (Oregon). In the summers, she teaches and performs as a faculty member of Heifetz Institute and Point CounterPoint.

Miki has championed the works of her composer-peers, and numerous solo pieces have been dedicated to and premiered by Miki including works by composers Brendon Randall-Myers, Paul Kerekes, Charlie Usher, Phong Tran, and Andrew Noseworthy. She is active in numerous contemporary music ensembles, and can be heard on recordings of premieres as part of Atlantic Music Festival’s Contemporary Ensemble, Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble, New Music New Haven, and Transfer Is Available. A single release of Phong Tran’s solo work “Rotation” dedicated to Miki and available for download

Miki received her formal training in solo piano performance. She studied at Yale School of Music (Artist Diploma) with Wei-Yi Yang, Eastman School of Music (Master of Music) with Natalya Antonova and Northwestern University (Bachelor of Music) with James Giles.

Miki’s non-musical loves include camping, backpacking/hiking, trail running, writing, horses, and house plants. Her writing has been featured in Clavier Companion and Alaska Humanities Forum magazines; she has been a foster mom to many dogs.

Brendon Randall-Myers: Cascade (2018)

“Cascade” by Brendon-Randall-Myers for piano and electronics, a movement from a larger work “A Kind of Mirror” composed for Miki in 2018 and 2019. Performed live at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, May 5, 2019.

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Charlie Usher: Aubervilliers (2015)

For solo piano and tape; written for Miki.

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Ginastera: Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 22 mvmts I+II

Performed live at Yale School of Music.

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