Harpsichordist and Pianist, Aya Hamada is an active concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and continuo player. Currently she plays principal keyboard for the New York Symphonic Ensemble and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, and serves as organist/pianist at the L’Eglise Française du Saint Esprit in New York.
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 and Italy, including a recital in “Music in the Mountains; International Recital Series” in New York City. She frequently performs at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and the Kennedy Center in Washington. She has made over three dozen appearances as soloist with orchestras in four continents. Recent highlights include the 2003 world premier of Kati Agocs’s “Apollonia (harpsichord concerto)” with the New Juilliard Ensemble, and the 2005 performance of “Concerto for Oboe, Harpsichord and Strings” by Osvaldas Balakauskas in the New Paths in Music Festival in New York City, the 2007 performance of J.S.Bach’s all Brandenburg Concertos with Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra to a sold-out audience, and the 2008 performance of J.S. Bach’s Harpsichord Concertos with Philharmony Orchestra in Japan. She has also performed with the Juilliard Symphony, Ensemble America, Camerata San Marco and the Berkshire Opera Orchestra (in the production of Handel’s Rinaldo,) and appeared in the Hamamatsu International Piano Academy, the Longy International Baroque Institute, the Amherst Baroque Academy, the Vancouver Early Music Festival, and the International Early Music Festival in Turin.
Aya Hamada’s latest 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, Mainichi Newspaper, New Jersey Independent Press, and The Berkshire Eagle. She can be heard on recordings for Naxos, Panasonic, Guarneri Records and Summit.
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, Ms. 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 from the Juilliard School, and is currently pursuing her further studies under Kenneth Weiss in Historical Performance Program at the Juilliard School. She also has received instructions from Christophe Rousset and Skip Sempe. Her teachers have included Ruth Laredo, Richard Contiguglia, Louis Bagger and Lionel Party.
In addition to her demanding performing activities, Ms. Hamada devotes a portion of her time to compete in triathlon and marathon races, and also is a licensed New York City Sightseeing Tour Guide. She resides in Manhattan, NYC.