MEET 20 DIGITUS DUO
Selected by Artslandia magazine as one of their top 50 favorite artists, pianists Maria Garcia and Momoko Muramatsu (Puertorrican and Japanese by way of El Salvador respectively) have had successful individual careers that have taken them around the world and to festivals like the Aspen, Tanglewood, Bergen and Casals festivals, as well as performing with groups like the Mark Morris Dance Group amongst others. Maria and Momoko met during undergraduate studies at New England Conservatory of Music. Since their debut as a duo in 2014, 20 Digitus Duo has been hailed by the press as “Dynamite”, “Intrepid” and “Impressive”. Together they explore the classical standards but also the vast repertoire of their shared Latin American musical heritage, and are deeply committed to working with living composers in creating new works for the medium commissioning works from composers like Ken Selden, Dag Gabrielsen and Charles Copeland. Their goal is to create exciting musical experiences that include classical/contemporary/rock audiences and offer an eclectic choice of music in collaboration with other art forms such as film, visual arts, poetry and dance.
They have appeared at St. Martin in the Fields (UK) the Historic Old Church, All Classical Radio Thursdays at Three showcase, at the Portland Japanese Gardens, COPI (Corvallis-OSU Piano Internationa)l, SOMA Film Festival, with Classical Revolution PDX, Cascadia Composers, in concert productions with Artslandia magazine, at the Alberta Rose Theatre, and in an outdoor concert at Director’s Park. They have been featured in publications such as the Oregon Music News, Willamette Weekly, Oregon Arts Watch and Artslandia. Devoted teachers, their educational performances featuring transcriptions of ballet repertoire at the Old Church and for the Community Music Center have been enthusiastically received. Their first recording of music by Ravel, Barber and Gershwin is available online through Bandcamp. Their fist full length album 4+1, praised as "a splendid and unusual debut", is out now and available at live shows or through this website. Recipients of a 2016 and a 2020 RACC Project Grant stay tuned for their next musical project, the upcoming Portland Piano Duo Festival (postponed until summer 2021 due to COVID 19), a festival that focuses on Piano Duos and educational experiences for young musicians.
Maria began piano studies in her native Puerto Rico at the age of four. At the age of ten she made her debut with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. She received a Bachelor's of Music with Distinction in Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. Graduate studies followed at SUNY Stony Brook where she received a full merit scholarship and completed a Master's Degree in Music as well as Doctoral Studies. Her principal teachers have been Luz M. Hutchinson, Victor Rosenbaum and Gilbert Kalish.
An active chamber musician and soloist, Ms. Garcia has performed throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Norway, Canada, Israel, Venezuela, Tunisia, Colombia and Puerto Rico with groups like the Mark Morris Dance Company, her former Piano Trio Melànge, Bamberg String Quartet, Madawaska String Quartet, Musical Chairs Ensemble, and Poetica Musica. She has participated in international festivals such as the Bergen (Norway) Festival and the Casals (Puerto Rico) Festivals.
A passionate teacher she has served on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division, the Lawrence Eisman Center for Preparatory Studies in Music at Queens College (CUNY), New Jersey City University, the 92nd Street Y School of Music, and the Stony Brook Summer Chamber Music Festival. A recent transplant to Portland she collaborates locally with 45th Parallel Universe, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, and is a sought after collaborative pianist. She has a private teaching studio in Northeast Portland.
Momoko Muramatsu has appeared as recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, South America, Japan and the United States. She has won top prizes from international competitions in Brazil, Japan and Italy, and has performed at numerous music festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen and the Iberia Music and Film Festival of Brazil.
Ms. Muramatsu has performed in Paris and New York (“Meet the Virtuoso,” at the 92nd St Y and at Steinway Hall) and was twice a featured recitalist in the concert series “Pianists of the World” at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields (London).
A graduate of New England Conservatory, Ms. Muramatsu moved to Europe to attend the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles and at the Conservatoire de Paris. She has also participated in masterclasses with Maria João Pires, Kurt Kämmerling and Boris Berman.
Since moving to Portland, she has been soloist with the PSU Symphony Orchestra and the Mount Hood Pops Orchestra, and has played with Fear No Music and other ensembles.
A former faculty member at the 92nd Street Y, The Brealey School and the Greenwich Academy in New York, she has given masterclasses in Japan, USA and Europe. Her students have gone to conservatories and have won international competitions. She currently teaches at her private studio in Northwest Portland. In addition, she serves as an adjudicator for music festival and competitions.