harpsichord / clavecin / cembalo / clavicembalo
Praised for her “graceful” (The New York Times) performance, Japanese-American harpsichordist Aya Hamada is an active recitalist, concerto soloist and continuo player. Currently she plays principal harpsichord for ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus and serves as organist at L’Église Française du Saint Esprit.
Aya has given numerous recitals in the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, England, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Japan, including a recital at the Peñíscola International Festival of Medieval and Baroque Music, Music Before 1800 (New York), Da Camera Society (Los Angeles), Harpsichord Heaven at the Flint collection (Wilmington), and at the International Conference of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America (Montreal).
She has made over four dozen appearances as concerto soloist on four continents. She has performed with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Royal Opera House, American Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Opera Company, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Sinfonietta Cracovia (Poland), Juilliard415, Juilliard Symphony, appearing under conductors such as William Christie, Jordi Savall, Nicholas McGegan, Harry Bicket and Masaaki Suzuki.
The New York Times proclaimed “Ms. Hamada gave a deft account of Handel’s Concerto” about her concerto performance with conductor Christie at Lincoln Center. In the Brandenburg Fifth, she “defined the torrent of notes beautifully for the ear, while never sacrificing virtuosity; her illuminating playing drew well-deserved cheers” (The Columbus Dispatch). Others have praised her “flawless technique” (The Boston Globe), and “superb command of the harpsichord” (The Springfield Republican). She premiered “Virginal” by Harold Meltzer with the New Juilliard Ensemble in 2010.
Her debut album “Jacques Duphly: Pièces de clavecin” was chosen as “Recording of the Month” in The Music Web International (July 2015), The Record Geijutsu Magazine (June 2015), and the Tokyo FM Music Bird (June 2016). The American Record Guide wrote, “This is a terrific solo debut… Her control of touch and dramatic delivery are both extraordinary. Her expressiveness is especially noteworthy.” Other publications have acclaimed her “acrobatic finesse” (Early Music America Magazine), and “sensitive and dramatic interpretations” (Fanfare Magazine).
She won first prize in the London Music Festival Competition and second prize in the Josef Hofmann Piano Competition, and is a laureate of the Royaumont Foundation (France). She earned her master of music degree in the inaugural class of Historical Performance from The Juilliard School where she was awarded the Irene Diamond Fellowship and the Heward Memorial Scholarship. She studied under Kenneth Weiss in New York and Skip Sempé in Paris, and has received additional coaching from Pierre Hantaï and Christophe Rousset. She resides in New York City.