Mariko Ono is a pianist of great versatility who is highly regarded as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and scholar of English piano music. Her ability to realize the score with splendid technique, delicate feeling, and profound understanding has captured many audiences. The lyricism and clarity of line and texture in her performances is frequently noted by critics and conductors.
Born in Aichi, Japan, Mariko’s first engagement as a pianist was at the age of nine. Having won several prizes in junior piano competitions, she went to England in 1994 to pursue her studies at the Purcell School. The following year, she was awarded a Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, and she graduated with first class honours in 1999. She received her Master’s Degree in Performance with distinction from the University of Leeds. She was subsequently awarded an Overseas Research Scholarship to study towards a Ph.D. in Performance, focusing her research on John Ireland’s piano music. She received the Ph.D. in 2009.
Mariko studied the piano with Andrzej Esterhazy (a pupil of Heinrich Neuhaus), Benjamin Kaplan, Hamish Milne and Dame Fanny Waterman, and chamber music with William Pleeth and Levon Chilingirian. She also dedicates herself to teaching young students, and she has taught the piano at the University of Leeds between 2003 and 2008. A performance by one of her students aged eleven was broadcasted on BBC Radio 3.
In 2008 she moved from England to Japan. In 2011 she was an invited member of the jury for the First Asean-Japan Young Musician Competition in Malaysia.