Megumi Masaki (Prairies) (2016–2023)

It is an hon­our to serve on the board of the CNMN as a Man­i­to­ba Rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Before return­ing to Cana­da in 2006, I lived as a Cana­di­an pianist and edu­ca­tor in Lon­don Eng­land, Boston, Paris and Frank­furt for 21 years. Liv­ing abroad, it was a pri­or­i­ty for me to rep­re­sent, cham­pi­on, per­form and collaborate/commission Cana­di­an music and mul­ti­me­dia works. This con­tin­ues to be my pas­sion and path. How­ev­er, despite the vibrant and diverse arts com­mu­ni­ty in Bran­don Man­i­to­ba where I have lived for the past 13 years, it can be more chal­leng­ing for artists in rur­al com­mu­ni­ties to stay con­nect­ed with the nation­al new music com­mu­ni­ty, often dri­ven by Canada’s larg­er cities. I there­fore feel for­tu­nate to sup­port CNMN’s work to advance access, con­nec­tions and oppor­tu­ni­ties for all new music artists and audi­ences, across regions, cul­tures and lan­guages in Cana­da and for Cana­di­ans all over the world. I aim to bring my expe­ri­ence as a pianist and mul­ti­me­dia per­former, liv­ing and work­ing both in Cana­da and in dif­fer­ent coun­tries, as well as teach­ing, admin­is­tra­tive, net­work­ing and cura­to­r­i­al back­ground to my con­tri­bu­tions with CNMN.


“Her depth of under­stand­ing of nar­ra­tive is unprece­dent­ed and her abil­i­ty to trans­late musi­cal com­po­si­tion into some­thing emo­tion­al­ly vivid and alive is quite extra­or­di­nary (The Wholenote 2018).”

Megu­mi Masa­ki is active as a pianist, mul­ti­me­dia artist, edu­ca­tor, researcher, con­duc­tor and cura­tor. The inno­va­tion and breadth of her artis­tic activ­i­ty, dynam­ic tem­pera­ment and “riv­et­ing and mind-expand­ing” (Frét­tablaðið) per­for­mances have earned her a rep­u­ta­tion as a lead­ing inter­preter of new music and mul­ti­me­dia works. She spe­cial­izes in explor­ing how sound, image, text and move­ment can be inte­grat­ed and inter­ac­tive in mul­ti­me­dia works. Megu­mi fre­quent­ly col­lab­o­rates with com­posers, visu­al artists, writ­ers and chore­o­g­ra­phers on inter­dis­ci­pli­nary projects involv­ing new tech­nolo­gies to expand and recon­tex­tu­al­ize how con­cert works for the piano are cre­at­ed, per­formed and received. Over 40 piano, mul­ti­me­dia (piano/toy piano/Roli Seaboard + inter­ac­tive and fixed elec­tron­ics + video + text + move­ment + uncon­ven­tion­al instru­ments) and cham­ber works have been com­posed espe­cial­ly for Megu­mi, and she has pre­miered over 90 works worldwide.

Megu­mi is fea­tured at major fes­ti­vals and venues around the world, includ­ing the Barbican’s Sound Unbound Fes­ti­val, Shang­hai New Music Fes­ti­val, Dark Music Days Fes­ti­val Reyk­javik, Insti­tute for Research and Coor­di­na­tion in Acoustics/Music Paris (IRCAM), Droghe­da Arts Fes­ti­val Ire­land, Ban­gor Music Fes­ti­val Wales, Win­nipeg New Music Fes­ti­val, JUNOfest Clas­si­cal Show­case, ISCM World New Music Days Fes­ti­val, Ottawa Inter­na­tion­al Cham­ber Music Fes­ti­val, and the Nation­al Art Gallery Ottawa.

Megu­mi is Pro­fes­sor of piano and direc­tor of the New Music Ensem­ble and New Music Fes­ti­val at Bran­don Uni­ver­si­ty. She is also a mem­ber of the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Noise­bor­der Ensem­ble Wind­sor ON and Sling­shot-Kidõ Hart­ford CT, the Artis­tic Direc­tor of the Eck­hardt-Gra­mat­té Nation­al Music Com­pe­ti­tion, on fac­ul­ty at the Casalmag­giore Inter­na­tion­al Fes­ti­val Italy, Chetham’s Inter­na­tion­al Sum­mer School and Fes­ti­val in Man­ches­ter UK and at the Banff Cen­tre. She is reg­u­lar­ly invit­ed to curate pro­grams for estab­lished fes­ti­vals and con­cert series, and to give lec­tures and mas­ter­class­es at uni­ver­si­ties world­wide includ­ing Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty, Roy­al Acad­e­my, Roy­al Col­lege, Trin­i­ty Laban, Uni­ver­si­ty of St Andrews, Uni­ver­si­ty of York, Mainz Uni­ver­si­ty, UBC, Queen’s Uni­ver­si­ty, Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Mex­i­co, Sichuan Con­ser­va­to­ry and Bei­jing Cen­tral Conservatory.