Known for her verve and sensitivity, Japanese pianist Futaba Niekawa pushes the boundaries of her artistry as a soloist and collaborative pianist across genres and disciplines. She has performed throughout the United States, Canada, England, Spain, Taiwan, and Japan and to date has released five recordings (PARMA Recordings, Petrichor Records) and her live performances have been recorded for radio broadcast.
In demand as a collaborative pianist, Niekawa has performed with Atar Arad, James Campbell, Charles Castleman, Gabriele Ragghianti, and the members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has been engaged as a collaborative pianist at the Banff Centre, New England Conservatory, Meadowmount School of Music, and the IU Summer String Academy. Praised as “a beautifully balanced duo” by Gramophone Magazine, Niekawa’s long-term duo partnership with violinist Kerry DuWors, duo526, has led to numerous performances, recordings, and artist residencies at the Banff Centre and Avaloch Farm Music Institute. Niekawa’s passion for multi-disciplinary collaboration and performing music of her generation have developed into artistic partnerships with composers, dancers, poets, and visual artists. In her leisure-time she plays free-improvisation.
Niekawa is currently a Lecturer in Music (Chamber and Collaborative Music) at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. She earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. Her dedication to pedagogy, mentoring, and performance practice is shown through workshops at duo526’s annual Sonata Seminar, and invitations as a guest teacher at universities across North America.