Umi Garrett, USA
The fourteen-year-old Umi Garrett was described by the Huffington Post as a “Budding musical genius”. In November 2013, she appeared as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada, performing Frederic Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor. The Winnipeg Free Press commented in the review, “In addition to displaying bravura technique, the young soloist also possesses an extraordinary musicality." Also in the same month, Umi had the honor to be a guest performer at La Ciudad de las Ideas, an international conference in Puebla, Mexico. Then in January 2014 Umi made a debut with the Pasadena Symphony with Nicholas McGegan. Recently, she was granted a prestigious title of the Young Steinway Artist, an honor only awarded to today’s most acclaimed young artists.
Umi 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.
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 Chopin Plus in Budapest, Hungary, and at the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in New York in 2012. She was also the Grand Prix winner 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 made an orchestral debut with the Desert Symphony in California at age 8. She also made her appearance with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops sponsored by NPR’s From the Top at age 9. Since then she appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras such as the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra in China; the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra in Latvia; the Pasadena Symphony in Pasadena, California; the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada; 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.
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, she performed as a guest pianist in the Festival Lato z Chopinem, the Chopin Summer Festival in Busko-Zdroj in Poland in both 2012 and 2013. She is a frequent guest artist at the Festival Assisi nel Mondo, the Assisi in the World Festival in Assisi, Italy.
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, a Kizuna Concert Series. She performed four concerts for the people of Tohoku, Japan where a Tsunami devastated the region in 2011.
A devout student of the piano, now Umi has been studying with Professor John Perry since summer 2011 in Los Angeles. Umi is also studying with Mrs. Mina Hirobe-Perry. Umi began learning piano at the age 4. In her early age, she studied with Mrs. Yoshie Akimoto and Ms. Itoe Akimoto. Umi has participated in several international music festivals such as the Perugia Music Fest and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy. Umi also participated at the Hamamatsu Piano Academy in 2013 in Japan where she studied with Professor John Perry, Mrs. Hiroko Nakamura, Mr. Pavel Gililov, and Mrs. Shin Soo Jung. Umi has played at the masterclasses for internationally acclaimed pianists such as Lang Lang, Aldo Ciccolini, Ilana Vered, Dr. Krystian Tkaczewski and Byron Janis.
First album, Just for You was recorded at age 9, and her performance of Chopin Fantasy Impromptu from that CD was included in the soundtrack of the Hollywood movie titled Jobs, a story about Steve Jobs and his creation of Apple. Music in Life is her second album recorded at age 12.