Yuki Negishi is a pianist of “rare poetry, passion and virtuosity”. Having lived in Tokyo, New York and Amsterdam, she now calls South Woodford home, and is inviting fellow residents to hear her play.
I recently moved to South Woodford with my IT director husband Michael, and noticed there weren’t many classical concerts in the area, despite the many beautiful churches with grand pianos. St Mary’s Church is a short walk from my house, and the first time I visited, I was struck by its splendid pipe organ and perfect acoustics.
I quickly felt the potential for a regular recital series, which could give local residents easy access to some great music, and an ideal opportunity for me to try out new recital programmes.
Music has been my entire life; I am Japanese, born in Tokyo, but spent seven years in New York City between the ages of five and 12 due to my father’s business. There, I was fortunate to be accepted to the world-famous Juilliard School of Music as an honorary scholarship student aged 10. I had two important years studying with Richard Fabre, who was a student of Rosina Lhévinne from the great Russian piano school who mentored Van Cliburn and John Williams, among others. These years paved the way for my future aspirations.
Europe has always been my dream destination to continue my studies, London specifically, for its central location geographically and culturally. After studying for three years in Amsterdam, I came here in 2001 to complete my Masters and Artist Diploma at the Royal College of Music. I regularly perform as a soloist and chamber musician in all sorts of venues and festivals, in countries such as the UK, Japan, China, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Poland and the USA. As a pianist, there is so much repertoire to explore – I probably won’t be able to go through all of them in my lifetime! But my affinity lies with the Romantics: Schubert (though he is more late-Classical), Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms and also the Frenchman Debussy. I also love the Russian composers such as Rachmaninoff, and more recently Kapustin, who infuses classical and jazz. His music is pure jazz when you listen to it, but there is no improvisation, they are all written out in musical score!
I will be releasing a solo CD comprising some of my favourite composers through the Quartz label in 2020. Alongside this, I will continue performing with my newly established Solomon Piano Quintet. I hope to bring these projects to St Mary’s regularly throughout the year. The first one was in March with a solo programme of Schubert and Chopin sonatas. The next one will be on 10 July, with lots of Chopin, Kapustin and the American Romantic composer Amy Beach. I do hope you will be able to join me at one of my recitals.