Born in Osaka, Momo Kodama spent her early years in Europe; educated at a German school, she attended the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris before studying with great masters such as Murray Perahia, Andras Schiff, Vera Gornostaeva and Tatiana Nikolaïeva. In 1991, she became the youngest winner of the Concours International ARD in Munich.
Momo Kodama has been invited to perform with world renowned orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestra Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Seiji Osawa, Eliahu Inbal, Charles Dutoit, Lawrence Foster, Kent Nagano, André Prévin and Sir Roger Norrington. She has appeared at the Vienna Musikverein, Berlin Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, Suntory Hall and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, more recently at the Philharmonie in Paris, Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, Fundacíon Juan March in Madrid and with the Düsseldorf Symphoniker, Győr Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestre de Chambre de Paris.
Momo is a guest of such festivals as Marlboro, USA; Verbier, Switzerland; La Roque d'Anthéron, Festival Chopin, Festival d'Automne, Festival Saint-Denis, Musica, France; Festival Enesco, Romania; Festival Tivoli, Denmark; Settembre Musica, Italy; and Schleswig-Holstein, Germany; Festival Matsumoto and Miyozaki (Seiji Ozawa), Japan. Chamber music partners include Christian Tetzlaff, Renaud Capuçon, Augustin Dumay, Gautier Capuçon, Steven Isserlis and Jörg Widmann. She also devised and performed a programme, for the 100th Anniversary of Debussy's death, with actor Pascal Rénéric and baryton Josep-Ramon Olivé in Paris, at La Bellevilloise, Paris and repeated further in France and in China.
Her repertoire extends from the classical and romantic periods to contemporary works, in particular, composers such as Toshio Hosokawa*, Jörg Widmann, written especially for her, and Christian Mason. Momo Kodama is a distinguished interpreter of Olivier Messiaen (Turangalîla-Symphonie, Vingt Regards, Catalogue d'Oiseaux), the music by whom she is one of the best exponents in the world, and premiered his Fantaisie for Violin and Piano, with Isabelle Faust in 2006. *She premiered the Japanese composer's new cycle of ‘Etudes' at the Lucerne Festival, and repeated it at the Wigmore Hall, Tokyo Opera City (premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's Etudes),
She released her second CD for ECM, featuring Studies Cycles by Claude Debussy and Japanese composer, Toshio Hosokawa in 2017. Prior to this, La Vallée des Cloches, also released by ECM with Ravel's Miroirs, Takemitsu's Rain Tree Sketch and Messiaen's La Fauvette des Jardins, received outstanding acclaim from the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine, Classica (CHOC), Télérama (FFFF). This follows a series of recordings, all highly celebrated, of Debussy, Chopin and Messiaen (Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus, Catalogue d'Oiseaux). In addition, Momo has recorded two CDs for Pentatone (Tchaikovsky and Martinu) together with her sister Mari, which were very well received in the press.
Momo Kodama also participates in international competitions as a jury member (Long-Thibaud, Messiaen) and gives masterclasses regularly (Folle Journée, Miyozaki, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris' Play-Direct Academy, Novi Sad piano festival, to name but a few).
Momo Kodama, whose acclaimed New Series solo album Point and Line contrasted Toshio Hosakawa and Claude Debussy, here presents the piano concerto Hosakawa wrote for her, the shimmering Lotus under the moonlight, a work that emerges numinously from silence and gradually returns to it. Composed in 2006, Lotus is also a homage to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with distant echoes of Mozart's Concerto. No 23 in A Major, the work with which it is paired here in a concert recording from Japan, with Maestro Seiji Ozawa and his Mito Chamber Orchestra.
In a composer's note, Hosokawa writes that "Momo Kodama's transparency, sensitivity and expressiveness have continued to inspire my piano music deeply. As she touches this magical instrument, she touches the mysterious energy of the universe and stirs my soul."