Mami Hagiwara has garnered attention as a rising pianist after becoming the first Japanese national to win first prize at the 65th Geneva International Music Competition, held in Autumn 2010. The prestigious competition does not award first prize every year, and Mami’s victory attracted attention in various circles, as first place had not been awarded in eight years.
Born in Hiroshima (Japan), Mami Hagiwara began her piano studies at age five. After winning numerous prizes in Japanese competitions, she became, at age 13, the youngest winner of the 27th Palma D’Oro International Piano Competition.
After graduating from the Hiroshima Music High School, Mami entered the Conservatoire de Paris upon the unanimous recommendation of the panel of judges, receiving a scholarship from the Agency of Cultural Affairs as part of the Japanese Government’s Overseas Study Program for Artists.
Having studied under Jacques Rouvier and Prisca Benoit, she completed the Master’s programme at the Conservatoire de Paris, graduating top of her class. In the same year, she won the Geneva International Music Competition, and at the finals, she performed with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Pascal Rophé.
In 2011, Mami has been invited to perform at the New Year Music Festival in Gstaad and at the Jura Music Festival in Switzerland, at the Périgord Noir Music festival in France, as well as at an earthquake relief concert for Japan at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. She also performed in Geneva, Paris and Munich on a concert tour in May for winners of the Geneva International Music Competition. Following this, she performed at a solo recital in Tübingen, Germany.
In 2011, her solo recital will be held again in Geneva.  Her future activities in Japan for 2011/12 include performances with Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra and New Japan Philharmonic in July, a hoped-for solo recital in Tokyo and co-starring with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in November, as well as the Ensemble of Tokyo in December.
Mami currently studies chamber music under Itamar Golan and Eric Le Sage at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Regional Conservatory of Paris as a scholarship recipient of the Rome Music Foundation. She is based in Paris, and continues to perform while pursuing her studies.
In the past, Mami Hagiwara has studied under Kazu Takamatsu, Mihoko Tanaka, Motoko Kojima and Claudio Soares; she has also taken master classes with Henri Barda, Jörg Demus and Boris Petrushansky.
Mami Hagiwara has been the recipient of the Hiroshima Phoenix Award and Maple Award in 1996 and 1998 respectively. In 2001, she received a cultural award from the city of Finale Ligure, Italy, as well as being presented with the Hiroshima Citizen’s Award, the Hiroshima Special Phoenix Award, as well as the new artist award by the Music Pen Club.