Noriko Ogawa


At a glance

Noriko Ogawa


…pianism of the highest order
The Times

Noriko Ogawa has achieved considerable renown throughout the world. Appearing with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras, as well as an extensive discography with BIS Records, Noriko’s highly acclaimed performances set her apart from her contemporaries.

Biography —

Noriko Ogawa has achieved considerable renown throughout the world since her success at the Leeds International Piano Competition. Noriko’s “ravishingly poetic playing” (Telegraph) sets her apart from her contemporaries and acclaim for her complete Debussy series with BIS Records (“If you like your Debussy to sound like the musical equivalent of a chilled white wine, Noriko Ogawa is the pianist for you” Roger Vignoles, BBC Radio 3, CD Review), confirms her as a fine Debussy specialist.

As an exclusive recording artist for BIS Records, Noriko’s most recent discs were music by Xiaogang Ye with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, released in June 2022, and the fifth volume in her series of Erik Satie’s piano music, released in March 2022. Ranging from Mozart, Rachmaninov, Satie, Debussy to contemporary composers including Alexander Tcherepnin, Vagn Holmboe, and Yoshihiro Kanno, Noriko boasts a prolific catalogue of over 30 albums. Her discography includes Takemitsu’s Riverrun (Editor’s Choice, Gramophone), Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition (Critics’ Choice, BBC Music Magazine), critically acclaimed Debussy’s complete piano music, and a complete set of Eric Satie’s music for solo piano.

Highlights of the 23/24 season have included a Joseph Phibbs portrait concert at Wigmore Hall and a seat as adjudicator for the Singapore National Piano and Violin Competition. Noriko is also incredibly excited to kick off the new year with the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition’s first UK gala concert at Kings Place with 2018 Hamamatsu competition winner, Can Çakmur.

As a regular Professor and sought-after guest educator, Noriko is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Tokyo College of Music and Music Director of Hamamatsu International Piano Academy. Noriko is a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music, Yamaha Masterclasses, The Purcell School and Chetham’s International Piano Summer School.

In addition to her busy performing and teaching career, Noriko regularly judges at international competitions. Forthcoming and recent adjudications include Rubinstein Piano Competition, Cleveland International Piano Competition, Leeds International Piano Competition, Japan National Music Competition, International Edvard Grieg Competition in Norway, International Paderewski Piano Competition, ARD International Music Competition, Honens International Piano Competition, and the Scottish International Piano Competition.

Noriko is passionate about charity work, particularly after the earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan in early 2011. Since the earthquake she has raised over £40,000 for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Fund and is keen to keep fundraising. Noriko also founded Jamie’s Concerts, a series for autistic children and parents, and is a Cultural Ambassador for the National Autistic Society.

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Reviews —

What sets her apart from other pianists is her wonderful sense of timing… [Ogawa] allows the music to breathe, while maintaining the forward momentum

The Times

…just one of myriad spell-binding moments where clarity of local detail, a broader sense of gesture and an awareness of the structural whole are in perfect alliance, supported by superb sound.

Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine

The soloist, Noriko Ogawa, played with crystalline precision in striking music that alternates between percussive chords and floating melismas

The Observer

Ampere is another wicked puppet show, the string-puller the fearless Noriko Ogawa, whose jolts at the piano are virtuosically pursued by the orchestra for 25 minutes of teasing charm…

Neil Fisher, The Times

Ogawa’s play was precise and her style elegant, as her hands moved lightly and with great economy over the keyboard. Most impressive was her interpretation of Debussy’s fantastical La cathédrale engloutie, with its ghostly reverberating “organ” chords as the undersea cathedral rose from the depths of the ocean.

Art Muse London

Ogawa is unfailingly beautiful, truly poetic

Christopher Howell, Music Web International

…poetic and virtuoso performance…

Waikato Times

Noriko Ogawa demonstrated exquisite tonal control and musical clarity, with some delightful bass sonorities, bright droplets of sound, and elegantly nuanced layers and textures… Noriko Ogawa performed them with obvious humour, warmth and charm, underpinned by expert and tasteful pedalling and superb technical facility.

Frances Wilson, Bachtrack

Noriko Ogawa's superb performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 held the audience in rapt attention, as she followed the constantly shifting emotional and stylistic contours. The virtuosity of her playing never drew attention to itself but recreated the moods with transparency.

Nottingham Evening Post

Ogawa’s playing has immense sensitivity and command – an excellent start to this cycle.


Selected Discography —

Satie - Relâche & Cinéma: Piano Music, Vol. 4

The playing's brilliant, the wit and weirdness of Satie's inventions comes across well

Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review

Dubugnon - Klavieriana and Chamber Symphonies

The pianist Noriko Ogawa acts with fire and commitment, sensitive and gripping in every detail

Martin Blaumeiser, Klassik-heute

SATIE - Piano Music Vol. 1

In this utterly delightful disc she manages to convey not only Satie’s quirkiness, but his honesty… She also, as we know, has a fine technique.

BBC Music Magazine, 5*

MOZART - Mozart Piano Sonatas No. 10, 11, 12

One would hope that Ogawa has much more Mozart to offer, because this is an exquisite presentation that other pianists should envy. Highly recommended.

All Music

DEBUSSY - Piano Music, Vol. 1 – Vol.5

Her playing is never less than sensitive and beautiful, the melting texture she extracts at the end of the Suite bergamasque’s ‘Passepied’ being just one of myriad exquisite moments

BBC Music Magazine


Noriko Ogawa and Kathryn Stott … are both superb, displaying rock-solid rhythmic pulse, delicate phrasing, and beautiful tone.

Peter Burwasser, Fanfare

TCHEREPNIN - Complete Symphonies & Piano Concertos

The soloist, Noriko Ogawa, played with crystalline precision in striking music that alternates between percussive chords and floating melisma

BBC Music Magazine

RACHMANINOV - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 4; Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43

The clarity of Ogawa’s fingerwork in some of the fast passagework in the Finale is a joy to behold, as is her seductive and caressing approach to the slow movement

BBC Music Magazine

TAKEMITSU - A String Around Autumn

Noriko Ogawa judges the balance sensitively...


RIMSKY-KORSAKOV - Orchestral Works

Ogawa responds to every fleeting whimsicality with such clarity and refinement that you are lost in wonder

See full discography

Related Media —

Jamie's Concerts

To launch her role as Cultural Ambassador for the National Autistic Society, Noriko talks about her Jamie's Concerts which are designed for parents and carers of chlidren with autism. Filmed at Eaton Square Concerts, April 2015 View on YouTube

Downloads —

Contact —


  • Nicola Semple