Rieko Okuda

piano & viola



Rieko Okuda is a pianist and a composer from Japan. She began to play Classical music at the age of 3. At her young age, she attended to Kaizuka city Piano Competition in Osaka and got the first prize. She also studied Music Therapy at Doshisha Women College. Music Therapy led her into Contemporary music and Improvised music. After she graduated from college, she moved to the USA to study Jazz music. She fell right into the Jazz scene in the USA, performing with some of the great American Jazz musicians (Bob Mintzer, Jon Faddis, John Fedchock, etc) at several jazz festivals such as North Texas Jazz Festival, Nortredam Jazz Festival to name a few. A couple of years later, she got interested in Free Jazz and Improvised music while she was in Philadelphia. She performed with the great improvisers includes Marshall Allen (from San Ra Orchestra), Elliott Levine (recorded with Cecil Taylor), and Calvin Weston (recorded with Ornette Coleman). Her interests in Improvised music led her to move to Berlin.

She performs with various musicians in Berlin ex. Tobias Delius, Axel Dörner, Els Vendaweyer, Susanne Zapf (from Sonar Quartet), Linda Frederickson, etc. Also, she collaborates with contemporary dancers such as Yuko Kaseki, Akemi Nagao, and Annapaola Leso (from Sasha Waltz.) She performs at several experimental festivals: JOE Festival Essen, Brda Contemporary Music Festival, XChange Festival, Experymental Festival, Flux Festival, and Soundance Festival to name a few. In 2014, she got to work with a Japanese Pop Artist, YUZU. She arranged the song called "Amenochi Hareruya" which awarded Japan Record Award 2014.

In 2017 and 2018, she got a residency in Elektronik Music Studio (EMS) in Stockholm, Sweden. This residency experience inspired her to the Electro-Acoustic field, and she started to invite the electronics to her piano solo pieces. Her first Electro-Acoustic solo album "Paranorm" was released from a Japanese record label, Athor Harmonics, in February 2018. "Paranorm" was performed at Koncertkirken Blagards Plads (DK), Ausland and FLUX Festival (DE), and Vardklockans Församling (SE).

In 2019, she performed at Experimental, Jazz, and Contemporary music festival "A L'arme Festival" in Berlin. In 2020, she has gotten the residency in Visby International Center for Composers (VICC) to extend her experience and find more possibilities to create various sounds and composition techniques.