Mari Kimura is at the forefront of violinists who are extending the technical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. Kimura invented “subharmonics,” an extended bowing technique that allows the performer to play notes below the violin range without changing the tuning. As an interpreter, Kimura has premiered many notable works, including John Adams’s Violin Concerto (Japanese premiere), Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII (U.S. premiere), Salvatore Sciarrino’s Six Capricci (U.S. premiere), Kimurao Davidovksy’s Synchronisms for violin (Japanese premiere), Tania Léon’s Axon for violin and computer (world premiere), and many others. In 2007, Kimura premiered Jean-Claude Risset’s violin concerto Schemes with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and in 2010 she appeared as a soloist with the Hamburg Symphony performing John Adams’s Dharma at Big Sur.
Kimura is a free improviser, actively performing and releasing improvisation recording from labels such as Victo and Random Acoustics. As a composer, she is well-known for her interactive computer works. She has won the Guggenheim Fellowship in composition, the Fromm Commission Award, and a residency at IRCAM in Paris and at Rockefeller Brother’s Fund at the Pocantico Center. In recognition of her work, Kimura was named one of “Immigrants: Pride of America” by the Carnegie Corporation. Kimura’s works have been supported by numerous commissions and awards including the New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts International, New Music USA/Meet The Composer, the International Computer Music Association, Music from Japan, Harvestworks, the Japan Foundation, the Argosy Foundation, the Vilcek Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts. In 2016, she released a solo album, Harmonic Constellations (New World Records), featuring music for violin and electronics by American composers. Kimura’s latest album, Voyage Apollonian (Innova Records), features her works for subharmonics and interactive computer with motion sensor.
As an educator, Kimura inaugurated the Future Music Lab summer program at the Atlantic Music Festival in collaboration with IRCAM in 2013, and she has been teaching Interactive Computer Music Performance at Juilliard since 1998.
Kimura received her BA from Toho School of Music, where she studied with Toshiya Eto. She received her MM from Boston University where she studied with Roman Totenberg, and her DMA from Juilliard, where she studied with Joseph Fuchs (1993).