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In May 2009, 8-year-old Umi Garrett appeared on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show as her first public broadcast performance. Since then, she has been receiving requests to perform worldwide and appearing regularly with symphony orchestras in the US and around the world. Umi also challenges herself in the international competitions regularly.
Now at the age 12, Umi’s most recent accomplishments in 2012 include winning the first prizes at The 13th Osaka International Music Competition in Japan in October, The Chopin International Competition in Budapest, Hungary in June, and Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in New York earlier in the same year. In 2011, Umi was the Grand Prix winner (Highest award given) at The Chopin International Competition in Hartford, Connecticut, and was subsequently invited to perform at Carnegie (Weill) Hall.
Umi’s highlights in earlier age include an appearance with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops sponsored by NPR’s From the Top, and her orchestral debut with the Desert Symphony in Palm Desert, California in 2009 both at the age 9, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 in A major.
Outside of the United States, she made her first debut on the Asian continent with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra in China in 2010 when she was 9 years old, and has recently performed with the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra in Latvia as her first European Orchestral debut in 2012. Umi has given a solo performance in Italy, Poland, Germany, Latvia, Japan, U.S.A. and Panama Republic.
Umi was featured on live Luxembourg television in an interview as a “wunderkind.” Most recently she was invited to perform a solo recital for a company Japan Times in Tokyo, Japan. Also Umi was invited as a guest pianist in a “Festival of City of Tarnow“, and in The Chopin Summer Festival in Busko-Zdroj in Poland in 2012, as well as in “Assisi in the World” Festival in Assisi, Italy.
Within the US, Umi has performed with a diverse set of orchestras including Charlotte Symphony in Florida, Thayer Symphony in Massachusetts, Desert Symphony in California, Indiana Chamber Orchestra in Indianapolis, and the Missouri Symphony in Columbia.
Umi has been invited to perform for the Kyoto Symposium; a memorial concert of Pasadena Symphony and Pops for Marvin Hamlisch; a master class with Lang Lang; the annual meeting of Philharmonic Society of Orange County and a VIP event of “From the Top” at Joshua Bell’s house in New York.
A devout student of the piano, currently Umi is studying with Mr. John Perry. Umi also learns frequently with Mrs. Mina Perry at her studio. Most recently Umi has participated in the Hamamatsu Piano Academy in 2013 in Japan where she learned from Mr. Perry, Mrs. Hiroko Nakamura, Mr. Pavel Gililov, and Mrs. Shin Soo Jung. Umi began learning piano at age 4, and has learned from Itoe Akimoto, Yoshie Akimoto; Byron Janis and Lang Lang in master classes; Benjamin Loh, Yoshi Nagai and Krystian Tkaczewski in music festivals. Umi actively participates to learn in the international music festivals such as the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, the Cochem Music Festival in Germany and the Sydney International Master Class Festival in Australia.
Umi has just recently had her public concert debut in Japan in March, 2013, in Osaka. Also she has just created a special concert series called “Kizuna Concert Series” to visit people in Tohoku, Japan, where the Tsunami happened in 2011. She had 4 concerts in Tohoku in March, 2013.
Umi resides in Southern California, and speaks both English and Japanese. When not practicing or performing, Umi enjoys playing with her friends, going to school, drawing, going to museums, watching movies, listening to music and traveling.