Praised for her “graceful” (The New York Times) performances, harpsichordist Aya Hamada is an active concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and continuo player. Currently she plays principal harpsichord for ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, and serves as organist at the L’Eglise Française du Saint Esprit.
She has given numerous recitals and chamber music concerts in major venues throughout her native Japan as well as the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, England, France, Spain and Italy, including a recital in “Music in the Mountains; International Recital Series” in New York City. She has made over three dozen appearances as soloist with orchestras in four continents. Recent highlights include the 2007 performance of J.S.Bach’s all Brandenburg Concertos, the 2008 and 2011 performances of J.S. Bach’s Harpsichord Concertos with Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, the 2010 world-premiere of Harold Meltzer’s “Virginal“ with New Juilliard Ensemble, and the 2011 performance of Henryk Górecki’s Harpsichord Concerto with Sinfonietta Cracovia (Poland) in Unsound Festival. She has also performed with the Juilliard Symphony, Juilliard415 and the Berkshire Opera Orchestra (in the production of Handel’s Rinaldo,) and appeared in the Hamamatsu International Piano Academy, the Piccola Accademia di Montisi, the Vancouver Early Music Festival, and the International Early Music Festival in Turin. Her 2012-2013 engagements include a recital in “Midtown Concert Series” in New York City, Peñíscola Baroque Festival (Spain), Valencia International Piano Academy (Spain), a tour of Japan with the Goldberg variations, and a recital and a masterclass in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Aya Hamada’s concerto performance (with conductor William Christie) in Alice Tully Hall, New York, was reviewed by The New York Times as “Ms. Hamada gave a deft account to Handel’s Concerto.” She also has been described as "defined the torrent of notes beautifully for the ear, while never sacrificing virtuosity; her illuminating playing drew well-deserved cheer" The Columbus Dispatch, “flawless technique” The Boston Globe, and "superb command of the harpsichord” The Springfield Republican. Ms. Hamada has been featured in media outlets such as WQXR-NY, WOSU, NHK TV Japan, Muso Magazine (UK), Mainichi Newspaper, New Jersey Independent Press, and The Berkshire Eagle. She can be heard on recordings for Naxos and Summit Records.
Ms. Hamada won first prize in the London Music Festival Competition, second prize in the Josef Hofmann Piano Competition, and was also a winner of the Manhattan School of Music Concerto Competition and the Artists International Auditions. She was a recipient of the Heward Memorial Scholarship, the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship and Historical Performance Scholarship from the Juilliard School.
A native of Kobe, Japan, Aya Hamada made her debut with the Kobe Chamber Orchestra at the age of seventeen. Since moving to the US, she has earned her master of music degree and graduate diploma in the inaugural class of Historical Performance from the Juilliard School, where she studied under Kenneth Weiss. She is currently working with Skip Sempé, and receiving additional coaching from Pierre Hantaï and Christophe Rousset. She resides in Manhattan, NYC.