- "Just For You" (hear on iTunes)
Umi on Ellen
Mozart Piano Concerto
No 23 (3rd Mvt)
the Boston Pops
In May 2009, 8-year-old piano prodigy Umi Garrett appeared on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was such a sensation that her young career has since skyrocketed, receiving requests to perform worldwide and appearing regularly with symphony orchestras in the US and around the world. Among her highlights in 2010 was an appearance with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops sponsored by NPR’s From the Top, and her orchestral debut with the Desert Symphony in Palm Desert, California in December, 2009, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major. Both performances thrilled the audiences with brilliant playing and charm, earning enthusiastic standing ovation and establishing Umi as a definitive rising star in classical music.
Outside of the United States, Umi has thrilled classical patrons in theatres from Panama to the Netherlands and beyond. Not many 10 year old girls can claim to have traveled the world like Umi: she made her first debut on the Asian continent with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra in 2010 when she was just 9 years old, and has performed solo repertoire at worldwide music festivals in Italy, Luxembourg, and Panama throughout her young career. Within the US, Umi has performed with a diverse set of orchestras including Charlotte Symphony in Florida, Thayer Symphony in Massachusetts, Saddleback Symphony in California, Indiana Chamber Orchestra in Indianapolis, and the Missouri Symphony in Columbia.
Aside from having delivered unparalleled experiences in the concert hall with symphonies worldwide, Umi has won first prizes at the Southwestern Youth Music Festival and the J.S. Bach Competition where she competed with pianists up to the age of 18. She has been a winner in the J.S. Bach Competition for two consecutive years, and has also recently won first prize at the Liszt Competition at Hartford, Connecticut in 2011. In 2010, Umi won the Second International Chopin Competition with a perfect score from all three judges, and was subsequently invited to perform at Carnegie (Weill) Hall. In November, 2009, Umi was a winner of the Saddleback Symphony Concerto Competition and appeared as featured soloist with that orchestra.
For the past two years, Umi has been invited to participate and perform in concert at the Killington Music Festival in Vermont as the youngest performer in the 26 year history of the festival. The young pianist has also captivated European audiences in August of 2009 as a performer in several concerts at the Vianden Music Festival in Luxembourg and Germany in selected solo and chamber music works. She was recognized as the little star from America and was featured on live Luxembourg television in an interview as a “wunderkind.”
A devout student of the piano, Umi began serious study of the piano under the instruction of Mrs. Itoe Akimoto and Mrs. Yoshie Akimoto. Currently, Umi is studying with Mr. John Perry at the Colburn Academy.
She plays the violin and has taken ballet since she was two and a half. She loves to paint and ride her bicycle.
Photos by Greg Ho.