Nobuko Imai

Biography

Born: March 18, 1943  
Nobuko Imai has been a leading viola player since the early 1990s. She studied at Tokyo's Toho Gakuen Music School before continuing her training in the United States at both Yale University and the Juilliard School. Following her graduation from Juilliard, she triumphantly vanquished all competitors to win the highest prizes at the Munich and Geneva international competitions. She is a former member of the prestigious Vermeer Quartet, known for Read more sharp performances of the Mozart and Beethoven chamber repertoire. Since leaving this ensemble, she divides her time between performing as a soloist with the world's major orchestras, such as the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and teaching at the German Detmold School of Music and the Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands. She returns regularly to her native land where she serves as artistic adviser of Casals Hall in Tokyo. She also continues to be active in chamber music, performing alongside such greats as Gidon Kremer, Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, Itzhak Perlman, András Schiff, and the late Isaac Stern.

The violist's superb discography includes more than 30 releases on labels such as BIS, Chandos, EMI, Hyperion, and Philips. In 1996 she was awarded the leading Japanese prize for music, the Suntory Hall Prize. She is known for an innovative approach to her instrument, and her unique accomplishments include creating viola adaptations of works for cello from the classical repertoire. Even in her early days as a student she was known for sparks of technical brilliance; when her class was going through an intense study of Bach, attempting to come as close as possible to the composer's original intentions, it was Imai that came up with the idea of the string players use Baroque bows instead of modern bows with their modern instruments. She also brings this focus into her involvement with contemporary music, naturally. Always an enthusiast for new works, her discography includes a collaboration with the Japanese avant-garde composer Toru Takemitsu, who created a work specifically for the violist focusing on the unique characteristics of the instrument. Commercial success rarely follows an artist's involvement with contemporary music, but Imai's collection of twentieth century pieces for viola and piano released on BIS, including the work by Takemitsu, was a bestseller in Japan. She has also premiered works by George Benjamin, Duncan McTier, and David Horne. Another aspect of her ambitious career are events involving cultural exchange. In 2000 she initiated and assisted in the production of a concert series held at both the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and in Tokyo, which featured Japanese and Dutch early and contemporary music, celebrating the relationship between the two countries which has existed for more than four centuries. Also in 2000 she founded an institution called the East West Baroque Academy, where young music professionals are able to gain experience in authentic early music style and performance practices. Read less

There are 74 Nobuko Imai recordings available.

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Biography

Born: March 18, 1943  
Nobuko Imai has been a leading viola player since the early 1990s. She studied at Tokyo's Toho Gakuen Music School before continuing her training in the United States at both Yale University and the Juilliard School. Following her graduation from Juilliard, she triumphantly vanquished all competitors to win the highest prizes at the Munich and Geneva international competitions. She is a former member of the prestigious Vermeer Quartet, known for Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio
III. Menuetto ma allegretto
IV. Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Minuetto in canone - Trio al rovescio
IV. Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuetto. Allegretto
IV. (Allegro)
I. Larghetto - Allegro - Larghetto - Tempo I (Allegro)
II. Adagio
III. Menuetto. Allegretto
IV. Finale. Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Menuetto. Allegretto
III. Adagio ma non troppo
IV. Adagio
V. Allegro
I. Allegro di molto
II. Andante
III. Menuetto. Allegretto
IV. Allegro
I. Hora Lunga
II. Loop
III. Facsar
IV. Prestissimo con sordino
V. Lamento
VI. Chaconne chromatique
I. Allegro moderato
II. Lento
III. Finale: Allegretto
I. Zwischen Berg und tiefem Tal
II. Nun laube, Lindlein, laube! - Der Gutzgauch auf dem Zaune sass
III. Variations: Seid ihr nicht der Schwanendreher
Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 47: I. Sostenuto assai - Allegro ma non troppo
Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 47: II. Scherzo (Molto vivace) & Trio
Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 47: III. Andante cantabile
Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 47: IV. Finale (Vivace)
Märchenbilder, Op.113: I. Nicht schnell
Märchenbilder, Op.113: II. Lebhaft
Märchenbilder, Op.113: III. Rasch
Märchenbilder, Op.113: IV. Langsam, mit melancholischem Ausdruck
Aria
Var. 1 a 1 Clav.
Var. 2 a 1 Clav.
Var. 3 Canone all'Unisono a 1 Clav.
Var. 4 a 1 Clav.
Var. 5 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.
Var. 6 Canone alla Seconda a 1 Clav.
Var. 7 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.
Var. 8 a 2 Clav.
Var. 9 Canone alla Terza a 1 Clav.
Var. 10 Fughetta a 1 Clav.
Var. 11 a 2 Clav.
Var. 12 Canone alla Quarta
Var. 13 a 2 Clav.
Var. 14 a 2 Clav.
Var. 15 Canone alla Quinta in moto contrario
Var. 16 Ouverture a 1 Clav.
Var. 17 a 2 Clav.
Var. 18 Canone alla Sesta a 1 Clav.
Var. 19 a 1 Clav.
Var. 20 a 2 Clav.
Var. 21 Canone alla Settima
Var. 22 Alla breve a 1 Clav.
Var. 23 a 2 Clav.
Var. 24 Canone all'Ottava a 1 Clav.
Var. 25 a 2 Clav.
Var. 26 a 2 Clav.
Var. 27 Canone alla Nona
Var. 28 a 2 Clav.
Var. 29 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.
Var. 30 Quodlibet a 1 Clav.
Aria - Da Capo
I. Preludio
II. Loure
III. Gavotte en rondeau
IV. Menuet I - Menuet II
V. Bourree
VI. Gigue
I. Adagio
II. Allegro ma non tanto
III. Andante
IV. Allegro moderato
I. Crochet = 63
II. Crochet = 48
III. Dotted Crochet = 92
Romance for Viola and Piano (arr. H. Sitt)
Romance for Viola and Piano (arr. H. Sitt)
I. Molto sostenuto
II. Vivace - Andantino - Vivace
III. Andante sostenuto
IV. Molto vivace
I. Con moto (non troppo vivace)
II. Andante
III. Allegretto - Quasi meno mosso - Allegretto
IV. Vivace
I. Moderato
II. Vivace
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro vivace
I. Moderato
II. Vivace - Andante - Adagio - Vivace - Quasi adagio
III. Adagio
IV. Allegretto con grazia - Adagio - Piu adagio
Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: I. Allegro brillante
Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: II. In modo d'una marcia, un poco largamente
Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: III. Scherzo (Molto vivace) and Trios I & II
Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Märchenbilder, Op.113: I. Nicht schnell
Märchenbilder, Op.113: II. Lebhaft
Märchenbilder, Op.113: III. Rasch
Märchenbilder, Op.113: IV. Langsam, mit melancholischem Ausdruck
I. Sostenuto
II. Animato
III. Adagio
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 1a. Harold aux montagnes (Adagio)
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 1b. Harold aux montagnes (Allegro)
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 2. Marche des Pčlerins (Allegretto)
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 3. Sérénade (Allegro assai - Allegretto)
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 4. Orgie de brigands (Allegro frenetico - Adagio - Allegro, Tempo I)
I. La Californienne
II. The Wisconsonian
III. La Bruxelloise
IV. La Parisienne
Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: I. Allegro brillante
Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: II. In modo d'una marcia, un poco largamente
Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: III. Scherzo (Molto vivace) and Trios I & II
Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 47: I. Sostenuto assai - Allegro ma non troppo
Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 47: II. Scherzo (Molto vivace) & Trio
Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 47: III. Andante cantabile
Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 47: IV. Finale (Vivace)
Märchenbilder, Op.113: I. Nicht schnell
Märchenbilder, Op.113: II. Lebhaft
Märchenbilder, Op.113: III. Rasch
Märchenbilder, Op.113: IV. Langsam, mit melancholischem Ausdruck
I. Allegro, tres rythme
II. Lento: Molto tranquillo
III. Allegro: Scherzando
I. Fantasie: Ruhig
II. Theme and Variations I-IV
III. Finale: Sehr lebhaft (Alla breve) in wechselnder Taktart - Variations V-VII - Coda
I. Sehr lebhaft - Markiert und kraftvoll
II. Sehr langsame Viertel
III. Finale: Lebhafte Viertel
I. Breit - Mit Kraft
II. Sehr lebhaft
III. Phantasie: Sehr langsam, frei - Schnell - Sehr langsam, frei
IV. Finale (with two variations): Leicht bewegt - Sehr lebhaft
I. Lebhaft, aber nicht geeilt
II. Massig schnell, mit viel Warme vorgetragen
III. Scherzo. Schnell
IV. In Form und Zeitmass einer Passacaglia. Das Thema sehr gahalten
I. Breit Viertel
II. Sehr frisch und straff (Viertel)
III. Sehr langsam
IV. Rasendes Zeitmass. Wild. Tonschonheit ist Nebensache
V. Langsam, aber mit viel Ausdruck
I. Ausserst lebhaft
II. Lied. Ruhig, mit wenig Ausdruck. Langsame Viertel
III. Thema mit Variationen
I. Lebhaft Halbe
II. Langsame Viertel - Lebhaft. Pizzikato - Wieder wie früher
III. Massig schnelle Viertel
I. Allegro
II. Menuetto. Allegretto
III. Adagio ma non troppo
IV. Adagio
V. Allegro
I. Allegro di molto
II. Andante
III. Menuetto. Allegretto
IV. Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuetto. Allegretto
IV. (Allegro)
I. Larghetto - Allegro - Larghetto - Tempo I (Allegro)
II. Adagio
III. Menuetto. Allegretto
IV. Finale. Allegro
I. Allegro moderato
II. Larghetto ma non troppo (Andante)
I. Moderato
II. Allegretto
III. Adagio
I. Moderato
II. Molto adagio - Allegro
I. Largo
II. Allegro molto
III. Largo
I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio
III. Menuetto ma allegretto
IV. Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Minuetto in canone - Trio al rovescio
IV. Allegro
I. Andante comodo
II. Vivo, con molto preciso
III. Allegro moderato
I. Allegro amabile
II. Allegro appassionato
III. Andante con moto
I. Nicht schnell
II. Lebhaft
III. Rasch
IV. Langsam, mit melancholischem Ausdruck
I. Allegro appassionato
II. Andante un poco adagio
III. Allegretto grazioso
IV. Vivace
I. Allegretto ben moderato
II. Allegro
III. Recitativo - Fantasia: Ben moderato
IV. Allegretto poco mosso
I. Maestoso - Allegro - Maestoso - Allegro
II. Barcarolla: Andante con moto
III. Finale scherzando: Allegretto
I. Lebhaft, nicht zu schnell
II. Lebhaft und sehr markirt
III. Ruhiges Tempor, mit zartem Ausdruck
IV. Lebhaft, sehr markirt - Etwas ruhigeres Tempo - Erstes Tempo
I. Andante
II. Menuetto
III. Rondo: Allegretto
Mozart: Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E flat, K.364 - 1. Allegro maestoso
Mozart: Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E flat, K.364 - 2. Andante
Mozart: Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E flat, K.364 - 3. Presto


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