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A native of Osaka, Japan, pianist Emi Kagawa is known as a soloist and chamber musician, and has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, and Japan. The Salt Lake Tribune described her performance as "a picture in the form of a 1000 piece puzzle, with each piece being a master piece." The New York Sun called her "… an artist both interesting and bold who quite literally throws herself into her performance creating truly exciting music."

Dr. Kagawa has performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Trinity Church, Steinway Hall, and Symphony Space. She is a past winner of the Juilliard School of Music’s Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. Dr. Kagawa was also awarded first prize at the Nancy Clark International Piano Competition, second prize at the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition, and third prize at both the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition and the Corpus Christi International Competition. She was a featured performer on the McGraw-Hill Companies’ Young Artists Showcase series broadcast on The New York Times’ classical music station WQXR, and has also performed on central Pennsylvania’s PBS member station WITF.

As a co-director of MANI Brooklyn Chamber Music, Dr. Kagawa has participated in several world premiers of compositions by contemporary composers. Highly sought after for her innovative approach as an artist, she has collaborated in numerous productions with a variety of contemporary visual artists, filmmakers, and dancers. She has also appeared as collaborative pianist for master classes with Joseph Silverstein, Peter Wiley, Steve Tenenbaum, and David Geber.


Recent collaborations include the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra chamber music  and Q series, the Tennessee Cello Workshop and the Viola Celebration at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the Southeast Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference and the 2016 International Tube-Euphonium Conference, the Concertmaster Chamber Music Series of Symphony of the Mountains, the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association’s Isotone ConcertSeries, the Cumberland Trio of the Oak Ridge Symphony, the Steinway Society of Knoxville Piano Concert Series, the International Women’s Brass Conference, and Chamber Music Concert Series of the Musicians of Lenox Hill in New York. 

A dedicated educator, her recent exposure to meditation and neuroscience study lead her to focus on mind-body connection, and she teaches mindfulness as well as healthy and easeful movements in accordance with the true anatomical design of the body while making music. She has completed the Essentials of Performing Arts Medicine Course by PAMA. Dr. Kagawa has served on the faculties of New York University, Lee University, New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program, and the Perlman Music Program.

Dr. Kagawa received her bachelor's degree from the Kyoto City University of Arts, and her in piano performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She received a full scholarship for continued studies at The Juilliard School, and has also studied at New York University. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Among her teachers and coaches are Jerome Lowenthal, Richard Goode, Claude Frank, Bernard Greenhouse, Larry Graham, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Miyoko Lotto, Martin Canin, Christina Dahl, Gilbert Kalish, Ann Schein, Angela Cheng, and Samuel Sanders.

Dr. Kagawa currently serves on piano faculty at Bryan College, Dayton, TN. She lives in Knoxville, TN with her partner Sam and their cats Lulu and Huang-Hu.

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