Official website of German-Japanese pianist Mona Asuka. Her 2016 / 2017 season includes tours w/ Brussels Philharmonic and Musikkollegium Winterthur and recitals at Klavierfestival Ruhr, Philharmonie Essen and Liederhalle Stuttgart.


… with Mona Asuka Ott playing the grand piano, however, this works out very convincingly, particularly in the opening movement of Tchaikovsky’s massive concert. 

It does, because Mona Asuka Ott has the cool head of a modernist. She plays the goading beginning of the concert with a hard, metallic touch and a distanced evenness and finally enjoys the whole scale of destruction when the composition starts to fray out. Here, Mona Asuka Ott shows a few very enjoyable approaches – as, for example, when she is able to use the sentiment as a facet instead of indulgently pouring it all over her entire interpretation. In any way, she deals very consciously with her sentiments, chooses precisely whether she confers a casually browsing character to her playing or advances with crystal clear sound and metronome-like tempo…

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Rita Argauer 

… In the first movement of Franz Schubert’s Sonata in A minor as well, the pianist plunged into the first measures with verve to finally present an interplay between calm and powerful emotion to the audience. Short insertions gave the impression of a conversation between different characters. The best movement, however, was the Allegretto quasi andantino, a cautiously played, flowing dance filled with growing tension… 

Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Sabine Schwieder

… Swiftly and well-toned, Mona Asuka Ott seized Chopin’s Nocturne No. 1 B flat minor and, charged with tension, particularly illuminated its sibling E flat minor op. post. 72 in its theatric major-minor-key dramaturgy. Her complete technical skill, however, the soloist brought forward in Franz Liszt’s closing “Tarantella” of “Venezia e Napoli”. Here, she drew a magnificently shimmering picture of moods, where daring runs with chromatic embellishments and almost dissonant fog took their turns. Mona Asuka Ott assembled these theatrical figures creating decent dark romanticism and let the numerous virtuosic ornaments twinkle coquettishly…

WAZ, Dirk Aschendorfer

…Mona Asuka Ott immediately made clear that blurred key plonking is not her cup of tea, but that she counts on crystal clear separation of the notes and metallic gleam in her runs. With that, the 25-year old cast a spell on the audience of the “Meisterkonzert” (concert of masters) in Esslingen for good. Mona Asuka Ott easily managed the balancing act between Mozart-like lightness and clear structure, she mastered the runs brilliantly and created a dynamic outline. The Andante is counted among the best Mozart ever wrote – a brilliant expression of deepest musicality. Sensitively accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra Arcata Stuttgart, Mona Asuka Ott played out the magnificent melodics with relish, and created an enchanting atmosphere with her wide variety of touch. This atmosphere was abruptly interrupted when the orchestra started playing the brisk theme of the final Allegro. The pianist picked up the impulse and processed the refrain theme in a manifold manner, where piano and orchestra skillfully passed the musical play between them. Mona Asuka Ott’s dexterity culminated in a most virtuosic cadence, which showed musical depth far beyond pure finger acrobatics and left a truly delighted audience…

Esslinger Zeitung, Rainer Kellmayer

...Brilliance and perfect control of the instrument from the very beginning right through to the last note, combined with insight of expression and appropriate feeling for Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto…


...Mona Asuka Ott began her recital with a Mozart sonata – a bold challenge especially as this absolutely rules out any hoodwinking when it comes to giving a virtuoso performance. Here she displayed complete mastery, virtually power-driven. The German-Japanese pianist played the opening movement of Sonata KV 310 with metronomic precision enhanced by fantastically smooth runs, for the most part each musically differentiated. She was in her element in the slow movement, making the melody sections really flourish and moulding them in a cantabile style, as if wanting to emulate a sublime operatic aria. Superb pianistic artistry!


 […] Whenever Mona Asuka Ott sits down to perform, she creates a cosmos of her very own in which she casts a miraculous spell over her audience.[…] After a short introductory piece, Prelude and Fugue in E Minor Op. 35 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, she continued with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata in G Major Op. 31/1, a light-hearted composition with an irrepressible sense of humor, a sign of Beethoven’s mid creative period when he was already beginning to suffer from ill health. The pianist succeeded in combining her brilliant technique with virtual oceans of expression and brought the first part of her program to a crowning climax. Choice morsels followed, culled from the works of Frederic Chopin. The effervescence of the Revolutionary Study contrasted with the dreamlike Nocturne in D-flat Major Op. 27/2 and the triumphal Polonaise Heroique – a musical experience par excellence. After that, she responded with Three Pieces by Franz Schubert (Op. Post. D 946) rarely heard today. Characterized by recurrent major and minor changes, the three works develop a unique mobility, driven along by Mona Asuka Ott with verve and elegance. The pianist continued to keep the audience in suspense before pulling the last trump card from her sleeve: Franz Liszt’s Rhapsodie Espagnole composed in 1864, a masterpiece in velocity in which she gave a dazzling display of sheer artistic wizardry. As if this "murderous tempo" was not enough, she elicited further thunders of applause from her inspired listeners by treating them to an encore rendering of Rimsky-Korsakov’s "Flight of the Bumblebee"

Franconia Music Festival, Doris Huhn