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Press Releases

The Open Goldberg Project Presents Pianist Kimiko Ishizaka on Tour

August 6, 2012 | By Isabelle Winter
Her tour dates are as follows:

September 16, 2012, Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI

September 20, 2012 WMP Concert Hall, New York, NY

September 22, 2012 Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA

September 23, 2012 Glenn Gould Foundation, Toronto, Canada

After the successful crowd-funding of her previous project, the Open Goldberg Variations, via Kickstarter, Ms. Ishizaka is now raising funds for her September tour. The fund-raising project will run from August 2nd to August 21st online at

Kimiko Ishizaka, a brilliant pianist of Japanese heritage born in Germany, believes that music should be accessible to everybody, especially the works of the great masters such as Johann Sebastian Bach. When she decided to record Bach’s Goldberg Variations, she therefore bypassed the traditional channels for music production and went straight to her fans. Ms. Ishizaka launched her Open Goldberg Project in early 2012, a complete performance of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations on a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial Grand in audiophile sound that is available for download absolutely free. Ms. Ishizaka also worked with Werner Schweer in cooperation with the MuseScore software team to come up with a new critical edition of the Goldberg score that can be downloaded for free simultaneously with the recorded version. The recording project was paid for using the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, where Ms. Ishizaka exceeded her goal of $ 15,000 by more than a half, and generated a great following. She has received praise for her project by music critics such as Christopher Lim of The Business Times:

"….. the playing is excellent. Taken together with its no-cost availability and its reliance on a new freely available score, the Open Goldberg is now the obvious first stop for anyone approaching the Goldberg Variations for the first time … The sound quality of the recording is top notch … "In fact, the album's an audiophile gem." (July 20, 2012)

And Robert Schulslaper, reviewing Ms. Ishizaka’s Open Goldberg Variations for Fanfare Magazine’s September issue:

"She has the fleet fingers to speed through the virtuoso variations with compelling clarity and the sensitivity to probe the dramatic potential of the slower, more profound numbers, pleasurably aided by her consistently lovely tone." (Sept/Oct 2012)

Kimiko Ishizaka’s live engagements have brought her to such venues as the Orchester Beethovenhalle Bonn; Klassische Philharmonie, Bonn; Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Michigan; Berliner Philharmonie; Kölner Philharmonie; Alte Oper Frankfurt; Gewandhaus in Leipzig; and the Opera Bayreuth. Her festival appearances include the Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Beethovenfest Bonn, Braunschweiger Kammermusikpodium, and the Rheingau Musikfestival, Germany. Ms. Ishizaka’s live performances of the Goldberg Variations in Europe and America have garnered effusive praise, including the following from the Bonner Rundschau, reviewing a concert in Bonn, March 2011:

"The clearly contoured yet richly contrasted musical structures unwound expressively in the intimately introspected slower variations, alongside the faster passages … A truly extraordinary, top-class piano evening!" (March 13, 2011)

She attended master classes with Prof. Peter Feuchtwanger, Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, the Alban Berg Quartet, the Amadeus Quartet, and Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio). When Kimiko Ishizaka graduated from the Musikhochschule Köln in 2000, she could already look back to a musical career as part of the acclaimed Ishizaka Trio, with her brothers Kiyondo, violin, and Danjulo, cello. The trio played hundreds of concerts around the world including their debut at the Sogakudo Concert Hall in Tokyo (1988), made commercial recordings with the Rubato, Primavera, and Ars Musica labels, and won top prizes at competitions, including a First Prize in the German Music Competition (Deutscher Musikwettbewerb), three consecutive first prizes in the International Charles Hennen Competition in the Netherlands, and the Vittorio Gui International Chamber Music Competition in Italy.

Kimiko Ishizaka: Website: Twitter: @kimikoishizaka Facebook: Kickstarter:

Open Goldberg Variations: Website: Twitter: @opengoldberg




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