Asako Ogawa is one of the today’s most versatile performers on the keyboard, from virginals, harpsichord, fortepiano to modern piano. She is originally from Japan and based in London. Her wide repertoire covers all periods both on harpsichord and modern piano. She performs both as a soloist, collaborative pianist and a continuo player in UK, Europe and Japan.
As a harpsichordist,
Asako recently issued Handel’s 8 Great Suite album with First Hand Records (FHR142), which was critically acclaimed. The BBC Music Magagzine awarded a five-star and the critic Nicholas Anderson said ‘Asako Ogawa explores the rich variety of styles with rhythmic suppleness and a lively feeling for characterisation..” . Jed Distler, in the Gramophone Magazine wrote “In all, her Handel Suites count among the best recorded versions”. Fanfare, U.S.A wrote "- Do yourself a favour and take a listen to this release. You may hear qualities that you never been aware of before. And you may be surprised how dynamic the instrument can be in the right hands".
Her previous album, J.S Bach’s 6 Partitas album (FHR92), received four-star reviews in The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Early Music Review, David Stancliff wrote ‘This is a capable and sensitive player who is intelligently inside the music, and quite capable of drawing us into it.’
She regularly performs in the London Handel Festival, Handel Museum, London and Halle Handel Festival, Germany. Her other main appearances include: Handel's Alcina and Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice with Opera North, Messiah with ENO (broadcast on BBC2), Brighton Early Music Festival, BBC Radio 3, British Harpsichord Society recital, and the Georgian Concert Society, Edinburgh.
Asako completed her postgraduate diploma and Fellowship at the Historical Performance Department of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and taught there as a Baroque repertoire Coach 2009-2022. She won the Accompanist’s Prize in the London Handel Singing Competition and was also a finalist in the Broadwood Harpsichord Ensemble Competition. She studied harpsichord with Nicholas Parle, James Johnstone and Laurence Cummings. Asako also studied with Bob van Asperen, and Colin Tilney in summer courses, and fortepiano with Steven Devine.
As a pianist, Asako specialised in vocal accompaniment and chamber music. She completed her Master degree and Postgraduate Diploma as a pianist at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and at the Trinity College of Music. Whilst studying at GSMD, she has performed in many vocal projects devised by Graham Johnson, Iain Burnside, Eugine Asti and Robin Bowman. She studied collaborative piano with John York, Iain Burnside, and Robin Bowman. Solo piano with Rona O'Hora, John Bingham, and Nina Sereda, in UK. Asako won many prizes as an accompanist, including the MBF Sir Henry Richardson Accompanists’ Award. She also founded the Freude Piano Trio and was invited to BANFF Summer Chamber Music Course and IMS Prussia Cove. The trio won 4th place in the International Brahms Competition, Austria. Asako was also an official accompanist for the Newark International Brass Festival and Competition for several years. She also collaborated with many renown singers such as Helen Charlston, Nazan Fikret, Héloïse Mas, Jorge Navarro Colorado, Josep Ramon Olivé and acclaimed instrumentalists such as violist Maxim Rysanov, violinist Ivo Stankov, to name a few.
In prior to coming to UK, Asako completed Bachelor in Music and Art at the Ocyanomizu Women University, Tokyo, studied piano and singing. She started piano at the age of 5 and won many national competitions. She studied piano with Masaru Yajima, Kiyoko Yajima, Chitoshi Kurokawa, Syuichiro Endo, Ryoko Machimo, in Japan.
photo by Eric Richmond