Japanese born, Irish resident pianist, improvisor and educator Izumi Kimura has performed extensively throughout the country and abroad since moving to Ireland in 1995.

She has worked with some of the leading performers and ensembles from both disciplines of classical and jazz, including the National Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, Crash Ensemble and many more, and has performed at numerous festivals in Ireland and abroad.

Izumi was Dun Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council Musician-in-Residence in summer 2019 and presented her collaborative work with Anthony Kelly, Cora Venus Lunny and Olesya Zdorovetska, from which a new album Folding was created.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

She will curate a series of improvised chamber music concerts in the National Concert Hall on Thursday 5th May, Tuesday 17th May and Tuesday 31st May.

We asked Izumi for her choice cultural picks...

FILM

I recently discovered the 2001 film La Ciénaga, by an Argentine director Lucrecia Martel, which was recommended by my musical mentor and collaborator Gerry Hemingway (whom I will play with in the NCH in May). It was memorable in the way the film made me stop trying to figure it out in a linear way and start feeling the exquisite balance within it, which was rather a musical experience, just as sound itself is the central element of this film.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Another film I keep coming back to is a Japanese film from 2018, Shoplifters by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Sometime I really miss watching Japanese films, and I always come back to this. This film for me connects life in Japan and in Ireland, which normally exist as two separate worlds in me.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Both films have the theme of family and home, touching our darkest shadows and the pain beneath the gentle and sensitive expressions.

MUSIC

What’s happening in the world - particularly this war of course - is affecting me a lot. Only last week I happened to discover Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha while searching for Ukrainian music. They are terrific.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

I also explored Ukrainian classical piano pieces by Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912) which are very beautiful, dark and with indomitable spirit. As well as those, I have been listening to another mentor and collaborator (whom I will also play with in NCH in May) Dominique Pifarély’s recent album, Suite : Anabasis. Amazing music.

We need your consent to load this Spotify contentWe use Spotify to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

BOOK

When I was teenager I loved Jack Kerouac so much and read On the Road many times (the Japanese translation). The older I get, the more I realise basically I haven’t evolved since, I’m afraid. Recently I went back to revisit Kenji Miyazawa’s novels. I think I look for a space in books and at the moment I seem to be looking for a space that reflects that time in my life. I also love Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. I feel like the simplicity is just about what I can handle with words, nowadays.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

PLAY

I wanted to see Beckett’s Endgame in the Gate Theatre but I’m afraid I've missed it! Having moved to Wicklow means I now need clear reasons to come out to Dublin - it will mean I really start exploring this area more.

TV

I haven’t had a TV for more than 10 years...

GIG

I went to a solo piano concert by Craig Taborn in the National Concert Hall recently, which was inspiring as I expected. He is a wonderful musician. I am looking forward to going to the Bill Frisell Trio in the Bray Jazz Festival. I love going to live jazz gigs in medium to small venues, more than any other events. I did a residency in Centre Cultural Irlandais in Paris a while ago, and went to some great gigs by my friends and mentors, including Stéphane Payen and Kartet, which were the highlights of the stay.

We need your consent to load this Vimeo contentWe use Vimeo to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

ART

Last autumn I went to an Ai Weiwei exhibition in Portugal, using the long stopover time at Lisbon Airport. which moved me so much it is still the strongest, lasting impression an art exhibition made on me, even after memorable visits to Pompidou Centre and Musée d’Orsay which were of course wonderful.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

TECH

The most recent app I downloaded is UL Live Classic, which I came across while searching for Ukrainian music scores. They have a wonderful website with lots of information of Ukrainian classical music and free scores. I made an inquiry and they replied straight away with very detailed information, I felt very warm and positive energies from the message.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

THE NEXT BIG THING...

Apart from all the unknown people and things I will encounter next, this Chamber Series in the NCH is a very big thing for me, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and look forward to working and playing with all the musicians I love and meeting the audiences whom we will make music together for.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Izumi Kimura's Chamber Series is at the National Concert Hall on Thursday 5th May, Tuesday 17th May and Tuesday 31st May - find out more here.