The Squid's Ear Magazine

Ogura, Miharu: Ogura Plays Ogura (thanatosis produktion)

Following her 2022 album Ogura Plays Stockhausen, Japanese born, Frankfurt-based pianist Miharu Ogura turns her attention to her own compositions, presenting five uniquely creative works unfolding in pacing that surprises the listener, balancing silence and clusters of layered patterns that move at differing speeds and rhythms, from simple clarity to labyrinthine entanglement.

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Miharu Ogura-piano

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Limited edition CD in a gatefold sleeve with a 28 page booklet with b&w images, scores, and liner notes by pianist Jonas Olsson, who has performed several of Ogura's work.

Label: thanatosis produktion
Catalog ID: THT30CD
Squidco Product Code: 34549

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: Sweden
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold w/ booklet
Recorded at Studio Epidemin, in Goteborg, Sweden, on April 27th, 2023, by Johannes Lundberg.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Following her critically acclaimed Stockhausen-album, Japanese, Frankfurt-based pianist Miharu Ogura (b. 1996) now displays her skills not only at the piano but also as a composer. This latest musical endeavour unveils five intricately crafted compositions, each a testament to Ogura's musical brilliance, delivered with her usual delicacy, preciseness, and soulfulness. In the international press, Ogura's remarkable performances have drawn comparisons to David Tudor and Aloys Kontarsky, and this new set of original, staggering pieces is a lucid account of her vast musical imagination."-thanatosis produktion

"Miharu Ogura, born in Tokyo in 1996, is a composer and pianist who has embarked on a celebrated international career after amassing an armful of notable awards. She is now based in Frankfurt and made this recording of five originals in Gothenburg. The present reviewer is in no way qualified to remark on the technical skill of her playing, so thankfully Ogura Plays Ogura is accompanied by a small but hefty booklet featuring an essay by colleague Jonas Olsson.

Olsson plumbs the deep depths of this "supremely accomplished pianist with a boundless appetite for the summits of the contemporary piano repertoire," who is rapidly emerging as an important composer of distinctive character as well. He marvels that in her work, "there are usually three or four (sometimes even five) different layers of music, moving at different speeds, often also using different types of rhythmical notation" while remaining - herself, at the keyboard - front and center, paying utmost attention to "dynamics, articulation, sonority and resonances." And he is awestruck by the sheer physical demands of her work, "often requiring absurd amounts of hand-crossing," particularly in the earliest piece, "Labyrinthe," wherein Ogura displays "ways of playing the piano that nobody has ever experienced before."

To the layman listener, hearing Ogura play Ogura in one fell swoop is an adventure, an exhibition of beautiful mathematics by a mind and pair of hands that can turn numbers into stunning landscapes. There is complexity and there is lucidity in her playing, which for one piece she delightfully describes as "piling sounds up and then making them go away." Spare then maximal, restrained then unbridled, she draws our attention to the freighted, mountain-air clarity of silence, then fills it to the brim with clusters of vigorous, colorful bustle. Miharu Ogura is definitely, as Olsson declares, "the real thing." "-Stephen Fruitman, Avant Music News

Limited edition CD in a gatefold sleeve with a 28 page booklet with b&w images, scores, and liner notes by pianist Jonas Olsson, who has performed several of Ogura's work.

Get additional information at AMN Reviews

Artist Biographies

"Pianist/composer Miharu Ogura (小倉美春) was born in Tokyo/Japan in 1996. Concert tours and projects have already taken her to other European countries, such as Darmstädter Ferienkurse, ManiFeste (Paris), Royaumont, Klangspuren Schwaz (Innsbruck), Festival Mixtur (Barcelona), Monopiano Festival (Stockholm), etc. She has also spent an artistic residency at the Abbaye de Fontevraud in March 2019.

In Japan, she has participated in many interesting projects. At the Hoktuopia International Music Festival in 2018, she performed "Mantra" by K. Stockhausen and "Structures II" by P. Boulez. In 2021 she gave a concert where she played all the piano pieces I-XI by Stockhausen. As a soloist, she has performed in prestigious concert halls such as Steinway & Sons Tokyo, Kioi-hall and Hamarikyu-Asahi Hall.

After winning 2nd prize at the 16th "Kyogaku" contemporary music competition in Japan in 2016, she received seven prizes including the "André Chevillon - Yvonne Bonnaud" prize at the 13th Orléans International Piano Competition in 2018. She was also a finalist at the 81st Japan Music Competition in 2019, and received 2nd prize at the 5th Alfred Schnittke International Composttion Competition in 2021. A impressive comeback was made in 2022 by winning again the "André Chevillon - Yvonne Bonnaud" prize at the 15th Orléans International Piano Competition, where she got a comission by France Musique as well.

She completed her Bachelor's degree at Toho Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Yumiko Meguri (piano) and Masahiro Ishijima (composition). Since 2019, she has been studying in the master program then in Konzertexamen with Florian Hoelscher at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts."

-Miharu Ogura Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Pas [2018] 3:01

2. Labyrinthe [2018] 7:44

3. ...Zwischen... [2020] 4:08

4. Sillage De Lignes [2022] 9:27

5. Nijimi [2023] 24:00

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
New in Compositional Music
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