Noriko Kawai studied at the Royal College of Music, London and the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. She has given many recitals and broadcasts throughout the world and is well known for the extraordinary range of her repertoire from Renaissance composers to new music, and innovative programmes juxtaposing standard and contemporary works.
Kawai has recently performed at festivals in Aldeburgh, Bath, Huddersfield, Macerata, Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels, Venice, Berlin and Valencia. She has given duo recitals with the violinist Irvine Arditti and concerts with the Leopold String Trio, the Arditti Quartet and the Quatuor Diotima.
For the NMC label Kawai has recorded works by Gerald Barry, and more recently James Dillon’s The Book of Elements Volumes I–V. The latter received unanimous critical acclaim including ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone (2004). Kawai’s earlier Skryabin recital CD from Live Notes, Japan, was also hailed as a major artistic achievement. In 2006, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov, she gave the world première of Dillon’s Piano Concerto at the BBC Proms.
Recent concerto engagements include the first performances of Dillon’s Andromeda, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov, in London (BBC Proms 06) and Glasgow, and Lachenmann’s Ausklang in ‘Transcendent – the Music of Helmut Lachenmann’ presented by the Royal College of Music and the London Sinfonietta. In the autumn of 2007 Kawai also gave the French première of Andromeda, with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège/Pascal Rophé, at the festival Musica in Strasbourg, and the first performances of Dillon’s duo for cello and piano, The Hesperides, with Rohan de Saram, at the festivals Ultima in Oslo, and Sound in North-east Scotland.
Noriko Kawai was formerly a Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music, London and is currently Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano at the University of Minnesota.
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Following her acclaimed recording of Dillon's Book of Elements, Noriko Kawai returns to NMC - joined by Irvine Arditti and the Arditti Quartet, in their first recording for NMC. This disc spans Dillon's career - from early piano caprice Dillug-Kefitsah, and the phantasmagorical sequence Traumwerk, for violin and piano, to brooding piano duo black/ nebulae - with pianist Hiroaki Takenouchi - and piano quintet the soadie waste, which takes its name from a dilapidated Glaswegian dance hall on the site of a former chemical-works; it was said that during 'hot' dance sessions the locals could detect chemical seepage.
Irvine Arditti, violin
Noriko Kawai, piano
Hiroaki Takenouchi, piano
'An arresting survey of a composer noted for the cerebral and visceral ... a bracing and engaging experience' Gramophone
'NMC has become a reliable champion of James Dillon's remarkable music, and its third collection devoted to him is not only the most impressive so far, but also marks the belated debut of the Arditti Quartet on the label. Written for that group with the pianist Noriko Kawai, The Soadie Waste from 2003 is archetypal Dillon, a work grounded in the composer's experiences of growing up on the outskirts of Glasgow in the 1960s ... which uses his dense, complex musical language to communicate great physical power, exuberance and immediacy... Dillon's instrumental writing takes no prisoners, but the playing of Kawai and the Ardittis in all these works is remarkable too; no composer could hope for better.' Guardian
James Dillon’s music is published by Edition Peters.
This disc was recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk: Traumwerk, Del Cuarto Elemento and Dillug-Kefitsah were recorded on 28-29 June 2007, black/ nebulae on 7 July 2007, and the soadie waste on 27 July 2007.
Engineer: PETER NEWBLE
Producer: JEREMY HAYES
Editor: RACHEL SMITH
Executive Producer: COLIN MATTHEWS
Design: FRANCOIS HALL
(P) 2008 NMC Recordings Ltd.