MARI KIMURA is at the forefront of violinists who are extending the technical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. As a performer, composer, researcher, and entrepreneur, she has opened up new sonic worlds and new musical possibilities for the violin. Notably, she has mastered the production of pitches that sound up to an octave below the violin’s lowest string without re-tuning. This technique, which she calls Subharmonics, has earned Mari considerable renown in the concert music world and beyond. She is also a pioneer in the field of interactive computer music. At the same time, she has earned international acclaim as a soloist and recitalist in both standard and contemporary repertoire. Her most recent efforts involves entrepreneurship, bringing her prototype motion sensor MUGIC™, (pronounced “mu” as in music +”gic” as in magic) to the market.
As a composer, Mari is a recipient of numerous awards and residencies including the Guggenheim Fellowship, Fromm Award from Harvard, residencies at the Rockefeller Brother’s Fund and IRCAM in Paris. Mari’s commissions include the International Computer Music Association, Harvestworks, Music from Japan and others, supported by grants including New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts International, New Music USA/Meet The Composer, Japan Foundation, Argosy Foundation, and New York State Council on the Arts. She was named one of 45 “Great Immigrants” by the Carnegie Corporation, and has been featured in major publications including the New York Times written by Matthew Gurewitsch, and in Scientific American written by Larry Greenemeier.
As a violinist, Mari has premiered many important works, including John Adams’s Violin Concerto (Japanese premiere), Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII (US premiere), Tania Léon’s Axon for violin and computer (world premiere), and Salvatore Sciarrino’s 6 Capricci (US premiere), among others. In 2007, Mari introduced Jean-Claude Risset’s violin concerto, Schemes, at Suntory Hall with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. The cadenza she wrote for the concerto, incorporating advanced Subharmonics, was subsequently published in STRINGS magazine. In 2019, she gave the world premiere of Dai Fujikura’s “Motion Notions” for violin and a motion sensor at her solo recital at the International Chigiana Festival in Siena, Italy.
As an educator, Mari is the Founding Chair of the Future Music Lab at the Atlantic Music Festival in collaboration with IRCAM since 2013. The program focuses on high-level instrumental performers, who explore composition, improvisation and performance using the latest technology. Since 1998, Mari has been teaching a graduate course in Interactive Computer Music Performance at Juilliard. In 2017, Mari Kimura was named Professor of Music at UC Irvine’s “Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology” (ICIT) program, Music Department at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.
As an entrepreneur, Mari is the President of Kimari, LLC creating MUGIC®, a motion sensor system for performance. In September 2020, after developing a new MUGIC™ prototype at Calit2 at UCI for two years, she released MUGIC® commercially. MUGIC® is now available at https://mugicmotion.com/. For her recent efforts, Mari was nominated for Entrepreneural Leader of the Year at UC Irvine, and received a Certificate of Recognition from both the US House of Representatives and the California State Assembly.
Mari studied the violin with Armand & Margaret Weisbord, Toshiya Eto, Roman Totenberg and Joseph Fuchs. She studied composition with Mario Davidovksy.