Mari Kato | © Elsa Okazaki

Mari Kato

Vertragslehrerin for compulsory subject pianoDepartment String Studies

The Japanese pianist Mari Kato studied concert piano at the Musikhochschule Köln with Tiny Wirtz and piano chamber music at the Musikhochschule in Hannover with David Wilde. From 1995 to 2000 she was a lecturer for accompaniment at the Folkwang University in Essen and since 2000 she has been teaching piano and accompaniment at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. In addition to her teaching activities, she has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Japan and in many European countries. She has also recorded several CDs.

Mari Kato was born in Obihiro on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido and studied at the Musikhochschule Köln with Tiny Wirtz and at the Musikhochschule Hannover with David Wilde. She also attended master classes with Paul Badura-Skoda and Sergei Dorenski.

During her studies she won first prizes at the Beethoven Piano Competition in Sapporo (1987) and at the International Piano Competition in Lugano (1991).

As a soloist, Mari Kato has performed with the Sapporo North Chamber Orchestra and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra under Tadaaki Otaka, and has collaborated with conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Hubert Soudant, Johannes Kalitzke and Joji Hattori.

She is a regular guest at international music festivals and has recorded numerous CDs, including "the five-stringed tenor viola" with Thomas Riebl, "Double Bass Sound" with Christine Hoock, the world premiere recording of the complete six sonatinas by Wilhelm Popp with flutist Eric Lamb, and three albums of works by David Popper with cellist Martin Rummel.



  • 25th Anniversary May Festival Rellinger Kirche (2CDs) (live recording).
  • (nomos-classics 2010)
  • Five stringed tenor viola: with Thomas Riebl (Uni Mozarteum 2011)
  • Popper: Complete Suites for Cello (2CDs) (paladino music 2013)
  • Double Bass Sound: with Christine Hoock (Uni Mozarteum 2017)
  • Klengel: Complete Concertinos for Cello and Piano (Naxos 2017)
  • Popper: Cello Concertos (Naxos 2019)
  • Popper: Works for Cello and Piano Vol.1 (paladino music 2022)
  • Popp: Complete Sonatas for Flute and Piano (world premiere recording) (paladino music 2022)
  • Popper: Complete Transcriptions for Violoncello and Piano (2 CDs) (2023)