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Umi Garrett was 8 years old in May 2009 when she made her public broadcast appearance on NBC’s “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”. Since then, she has been performing as a soloist worldwide and appearing regularly with symphony orchestras across the United States and around the world. Most recently at age of 13, she was granted a prestigious title of the Young Steinway Artist, an honor only awarded to today’s most acclaimed young artists.
Umi has won numerous top awards at international piano competitions, including the First Prize at the 13th Osaka International Music Competition in Japan, at the Chopin International Competition in Budapest, Hungary, and at the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in New York in 2012. She was also the Grand Prix winner (the highest award) at the Chopin International Competition in Hartford, Connecticut in 2010, and was subsequently invited to perform at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York. In 2013, Umi received the “Most Promising Award” at the 17th Hamamatsu International Piano Academy in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Umi was 9 years old when she made her appearance with Mr. Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops sponsored by NPR’s “From the Top”. And she made her orchestral debut with the Desert Symphony in Palm Desert, California, performing Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major.
At age 10, Umi made her debut in Asia with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra in China in 2010. She made her European orchestral debut in 2012, performing with the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra in Latvia. In addition, Umi has given solo performances in Italy, Poland, England, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Japan, Mexico, Panama Republic, and Canada. Umi was featured on live television in Luxembourg in an interview as a “wunderkind.” Furthermore, Umi was invited to perform a solo recital by the Japan Times in Tokyo, Japan. She performed as a guest pianist in the Festival of City of Tarnow in Poland in 2012, as well as in the Chopin Summer Festival in Buski-Zdroj in Poland in both 2012 and 2013. She is a frequent guest artist at the Assisi in the World Festival in Assisi, Italy.
Within the United States, Umi appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Charlotte Symphony in Punta Gorda, Florida; the Thayer Symphony in Massachusetts; the Desert Symphony in California; Indiana Chamber Orchestra in Indianapolis, Indiana; and the Missouri Symphony in Columbia, Missouri.
Additionally in the United States, Umi was invited to perform at the E.G. Conference in Monterey; Kyoto Symposium held in San Diego; a memorial concert for Marvin Hamlisch by the Pasadena Symphony and Pops in Pasadena; the Philharmonic Society of Orange County Annual Conference in Irvine; and a VIP event of “From the Top” at Joshua Bell’s house in New York. She was also invited to perform in a Master Class with Mr. Lang Lang.
At age 12, Umi made her Japanese public concert debut in March 2013 in Osaka. In the same month, she volunteered to serve the community with her talent and she organized a special concert tour, “Kizuna Concert Series”. She performed 4 concerts for the people of Tohoku, Japan where a Tsunami devastated the region in 2011.
The thirteen-year-old Umi was described by the Huffinton Post as a “Budding musical genius”. In November 2013, she also appeared as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada, performing Chopin Concerto No. 1 in November 2013. The Winnipeg Free Press commented in the review, “In addition to displaying bravura technique, the young soloist also possesses an extraordinary musicality”. And also in November 2013, Umi had the honor to be a guest performer at the “Ciudad de las Ideas” international conference in Puebla, Mexico. Umi currently studies piano with world-renowned teacher and concert pianist, Mr. John Perry. She is also studying with Mrs. Mina Hirobe-Perry. She began learning piano at age 4 and received great tutorage from Mrs. Yoshie Akimoto and Ms. Itoe Honda. Umi has studied with Mr. Lang Lang, Mr. Aldo Ciccolini, Mr. Robert Levin, Mrs. Ilana Vered, and Mr. Krystian Tkaczewski in Master Classes as well as at international music festivals and special occasions. In 2013, at age 12, she participated in the Hamamatsu Piano Academy in Japan and studied with Mr. John Perry, Mrs. Hiroko Nakamura, Mr. Pavel Gililov, and Mrs. Shin Soo Jung.
Umi was age 9 when she recorded and released her first album. Umi’s performance of Chopin Fantasy Impromptu from that CD was included in the soundtrack of the Hollywood movie titled “Jobs”, a movie about Steve Jobs and his creation of Apple.