Miki Sawada, the intrepid pianist who travels the country with her piano, made a remarkable visit to MoCA Westport on October 12th as part of the Community Conversations series. The evening was a captivating exploration of how classical music intertwines with the essence of America and its profound impact on people from various walks of life. The event featured not only a thought-provoking conversation led by Sawada but also a mesmerizing piano performance by her. In addition, the audience had the privilege of enjoying a screening of the film “Gather Hear Louisiana.”
Miki Sawada, a pianist, and the founder of the Gather Hear Tour, has become renowned for her fearless approach to classical music, taking it to places where few others venture. She has been lauded for her extraordinary performance, which earned her a place on The Boston Globe’s Best Of Arts 2021 list, where her concerts were described as “The classical concerts that made me fall in love with live music again.” Miki’s diverse career spans solo and chamber music, with a particular passion for contemporary compositions.
Throughout her musical journey, Miki has graced renowned venues and events, including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Helsinki Music Centre, the Arctic Philharmonic in Norway, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in NYC, Roulette in Brooklyn, MATA Festival in NYC, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Music on Main in Vancouver, Chicago Symphony Center’s Macy’s Day of Music, the Banff Centre, New Music New Haven, PianoFest in the Hamptons, Art Base in Belgium, and Moulin d’Andé in France. She has also been featured in live interviews and performances on various radio stations, such as WQXR in NYC, WFMT in Chicago, KUAC in Fairbanks, West Virginia Public Broadcasting in Charleston, and All Classical Portland in Oregon. In 2022, Miki achieved a significant milestone by making her debut as a soloist with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra.
Miki Sawada’s dedication to contemporary music is evident through her commissioning of several solo pieces, supported by New Music USA. In 2021, she released her debut album titled “A Kind of Mirror,” which features music for piano and electronics composed by Brendon Randall-Myers. In the summertime, Miki takes on the role of a faculty member at the Heifetz Institute in Virginia.
Beyond her musical pursuits, Miki is an ultramarathon runner, having recently completed a challenging 100-mile race through the Oregon mountains. She resides in Boston with her husband, Kristopher Tong, a violinist from the Borromeo Quartet, and their rescue German Shepherd mix named Shakira.
Miki’s mission to bring classical music to diverse communities across the United States is realized through her Gather Hear Tour. She travels to all 50 states with her piano, delivering high-quality classical music performances in community gathering spaces, free of charge to the audience. Gather Hear Tour’s mission is to bridge socioeconomic and political boundaries by taking classical music out of formal concert halls and into community spaces where everyone can feel welcome. Miki Sawada has already completed five tours, including Alaska (2017), West Virginia (2018), Massachusetts (2021), and Utah (2021), with Gather Hear Louisiana in 2022, totaling over 70 free public performances.
For more information about Miki Sawada and the Gather Hear Tour, please visit [www.mikisawada.com].