Arts Blog

John Pitman Review: Mao Fujita Takes On Mozart

Pianist Mao Fujita was born in Japan and now lives in Europe, where he is studying with Kirill Gerstein. Mao was invited to the renowned Verbier Festival in Switzerland a couple of years ago, on the strength of having a number of Mozart’s piano sonatas in his fingers. The Festival asked Mao if he could get the rest of them – 18 in all – ready for a live performance.  Mao did so, and the result of that was a signing to Sony, and this new recording of the complete Mozart sonatas.

Mao takes an approach that would have been absolutely expected by Mozart and others of his time: not to play the sonatas “note for note”, but rather to bring something different each time the phrase came back. This fresh approach is just one of the attractions of Mao’s new recording, the other is the sense of familiarity and intimacy he has with the music, as though he’s known this music his whole life. And in some ways, he has…

Hear All Classical Portland’s Program Director John Pitman‘s conversation with Mao, and enjoy some musical excerpts:

Mao Fujita’s Mozart: The Complete Piano Sonatas is available now from Sony at

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