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 major venues throughout Japan as well as the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, England, France, Spain and Italy, including a recital at the Peñíscola International Festival of Medieval and Baroque Music, and at the International Conference of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America (Montreal).
She has made over three dozen appearances as concerto soloist on four continents. She has performed with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Opera Company, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Sinfonietta Cracovia (Poland), Juilliard415, Juilliard Symphony, appearing under conductors such as Jordi Savall, Nicolas 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 William Christie in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. 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) and The Record Geijutsu Magazine (June 2015), and received highly favorable reviews in The Magazine of Early Music America (Fall 2015), American Record Guide (Nov/Dec 2015), The Fanfare Magazine (Nov/Dec 2015) and Keyboard Perspective (2015).
This season’s engagements include appearances on Music Before 1800 concert series (Rameau: Pièces de clavecin en concerts), French Baroque Opera Concert (dir. Christophe Rousset) , New Year’s Gala Concert on NHK-TV and Harpsichord Heaven at the Flint Collection.
Aya won first prize in the London Music Festival Competition and second prize in the Josef Hofmann Piano Competition, and 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.