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June 8, 2022

Arizona State University School of Music, Dance and Theater welcomes Miki Aoki as an Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano. Aoki is internationally recognized for her diverse skills as a pianist and collaborative artist.

“I was particularly drawn to the collaborative piano program for two reasons: my outstanding future colleagues, with whom I am very excited to work, and the wide-ranging collaborative opportunities offered to students at ASU,” said Aoki. “These are two pillars that are absolutely essential to a well-rounded collaborative program, and at ASU these pillars are particularly strong.”

Hailed by BBC Magazine for her “truly memorable performances”, pianist Miki Aoki is a frequent guest artist at prestigious concert series and festivals around the world.
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With nearly 800 annual performances and concerts in the fields of music, dance, and theater, Aoki said she is impressed by the sheer scope of the music program at ASU and the tremendous opportunities and experiences students can gain during their studies.

“We are thrilled to have an artist of Miki Aoki’s caliber join our program,” said Heather Landes, director of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. “Miki Aoki brings a wealth of experience as a collaborative artist from her many years in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and her work as a collaborative pianist and teacher in the United States. Our students will benefit greatly from working with her.”

Hailed by BBC Magazine for her “truly memorable performances”, Aoki is a frequent guest artist at prestigious concert series and festivals around the world. She has performed on the stages of renowned concert halls in Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Austria and Russia as well as at festivals in Germany, Switzerland, Russia, France, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar.

She has performed as a soloist with the National Symphony, London Soloist Chamber Orchestra, Hamburger Camerata, Washington Sinfonietta and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, and was an invited artist at the legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman’s chamber music seminar in Long Island, New York.

Aoki’s performances have been broadcast on Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Radio Berlin, Radio Suisse Romande, ORF Austria, Radio France, WFMT Chicago, MPR Classic and ABC Classic FM Australia and BBC Radio 3 to name a few.

A collaborative pianist, Aoki has also been an invited guest artist at notable international summer academies in Germany, Austria and Virginia and regularly plays for masterclasses by internationally renowned musicians including Yuri Bashmet, Christoph Eschenbach, Christian Tetzlaff, Maxim Vengerov and Tabea Zimmermann.

Aoki is a pianist at the renowned Kronberg Academy in Germany. She joined the Munich ArtisTRIO in 2017, holds degrees from Indiana University and Yale University and received a concert exam with distinction from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater.

Aoki was born in Japan, grew up in England and attended college in the United States. After many years working and performing in Europe, Aoki returned to school to earn her Doctorate in Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook in New York under the tutelage of Gilbert Kalish. She completed her studies and graduated in May 2022.

Aoki describes the experience of going back to school as “life-changing” and said it helped her see the importance of adapting to today’s evolving music world.

“I had the chance to see the music world again from a student’s perspective, which gave me a chance to understand the meaning of our ‘short time’ as students on a deeper level,” she said. “It has helped me see with new eyes the tremendous value of this pivotal time, a time when we can learn the skills to survive and thrive in this space.”

Aoki said she was absolutely thrilled to join ASU’s world-class faculty.

She said one of the questions raised in the school’s mission: “What can we achieve by collaborating with those outside our disciplines and beyond the confines of our university?” – speaks strongly to her as a collaborative pianist.

During her many years touring around the globe, Aoki said she’s witnessed both the positives and the “not-so-positives” of her career.

“There are so many things I wish I had known before, and that’s a very important reason why teaching piano together is important to me,” said Aoki. “I want to make a difference for the future of this profession, strengthen us as collaborative pianists, and help the next generation of collaborative pianists be really proud of who they are and what they do.”

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