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 (born 20 December 1948) is a Japanese-born British  classical pianist.


Born in Atami, a seaside town close to Tokyomarker, Japanmarker, Uchida moved to Viennamarker, Austriamarker when she was twelve years old with her diplomat parents after her father was named the Japanese ambassador to Austria. She enrolled at the Vienna Academy of Musicmarker to study with Richard Hauser, and later Wilhelm Kempff and Stefan Askenase, and remained in Vienna to study after her father was transferred back to Japan after five years. She gave her first Viennese recital at the age of 14 at the Vienna Musikvereinmarker. She also studied with Maria Curcio, the last and favourite pupil of Artur Schnabel.

In 1969 she won the first prize in the Beethoven Competition in Vienna and in 1970 the second prize in the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition. Then, in 1975, she won second prize in the Leeds Piano Competition. From 2002 to 2007 she served as artist-in-residence for the Cleveland Orchestra, where she led performances of all of Mozart's solo piano concertos.

She is an acclaimed interpreter of the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Schoenberg. She has recorded all of Mozart's piano sonatas (a project that won the Gramophone Award), and concerti, the latter with the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey Tate. She is further noted for her recordings of Beethoven's complete piano concerti with Kurt Sanderling conducting, Beethoven's late piano sonatas, and a Schubert piano cycle. Her recording of the Debussy √Čtudes won another Gramophone Award, and so did her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto. In April 2008, BBC Music Magazine presented her its Instrumentalist of the Year and Disc of the Year award. (She is distinguished as an interpreter of the works of the Second Viennese School)

She is an Artistic Director of the Marlboro Music School and Festival, along with fellow pianist Richard Goode. She is also a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, an organization established to help young artists develop and sustain international careers. Uchida is a recipient of the 1986 Suntory Music Award.

Uchida currently resides in Londonmarker. Her long-standing partner, Robert Cooper, currently works for the European Union in Brusselsmarker.


Mitsuko Uchida was appointed Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours. The award was honorary because she was not a British citizen.

She was promoted Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours. On this occasion, the award was substantive, as she is now a British citizen.

In June 2009 she was awarded a Honoris causa Doctor of Music (D.Mus.) degree by the University of Oxfordmarker. The award was granted during the Encaenia 2009 held at the Sheldonian Theatremarker in the hearth of the University of Oxford.


  1. The Guardian, 14 April 2009
  2. Telegraph, 7 April 2009
  3. "Uchida, Mitsuko", Grove Music Online, 2007. Accessed June 3 2007.
  4. Hunt, Brian, "Rekindling the very grandest of passions", Daily Telegraph, 2 April 2001. Accessed 22 September 2009.
  5. "About Us", Marlboro Music School and Festival Official Website, 2007. Accessed June 3, 2007.
  6. Erica Jeal: "Musical moments" (The Guardian, 25 February, 2006). Accessed September 21, 2009.
  7. BBC News, 30 December 2000
  8. Honorary awards are specifically listed as such, and are not usually gazetted
  9. "Oxford University Gazette, 5 February 2009"

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