Noriko Ogawa, pianist, presenter and activist joins the English String Orchestra for a concert featuring one of Mozart’s most popular and charming piano concertos alongside music by Tchaikovsky and two works which vividly capture one of 20th century music’s most compelling love stories.

A past winner of the Leeds International Piano, Noriko appears with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras including recent and forthcoming performances with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Noriko is a sought-after presenter, both on the radio and on television, recently appearing as a piano expert on the BBC3 coverage of the Leeds Piano Competition. Noriko is passionate about charity work, particularly after the earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan in early 2011. Since the earthquake she has raised over £40,000 for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Fund and is keen to keep fundraising. Noriko also founded Jamie’s Concerts, a series for autistic children and parents, and is a Cultural Ambassador for the National Autistic Society.

She will be making her ESO debut with Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C Major K415. Ogawa describes the work, written by Mozart for his Viennese subscription concerts when he was 26, as “full of beauty and surprises.”

Noriko will also be playing the short but beautiful Partita for Piano and Strings by Vítězslava Kaprálová, a work she describes as “Romantic and strong.”

“Kapralova’s Partita shows her to be one of the great talents of the century,” says the ESO’s conductor, Kenneth Woods. “This is music of huge appeal and profound quality. Had she lived longer, she could have been the 20th century’s female Shostakovich or Walton, or perhaps a female Leonard Bernstein ... every piece she did leave us is a real treasure.” The concert opens with another short and engaging Partita by her teacher and lover, Martinů.

The concert concludes with music of Tchaikovsky, his Third String Quartet, heard here in a brand new arrangement for string orchestra by Kenneth Woods. “This has always been one of my favourite pieces by Tchaikovsky,” says Woods, “and I’ve played it many times in its original form. Even for Tchaikovsky, this is passionate, dramatic music, and I thought it would work particularly well as a string orchestra piece. I hope our Hereford friends will be excited to hear it!”

The concert takes place in Shirehall in St Peter's Square at 3.30pm and is conducted by Kenneth Woods. For tickets, visit