"...Her feeling for pianistic colour was reflected in a performance of improvisatory freedom..."- The Times
Having established a successful career as an internationally acclaimed piano duo “Piano 4 Hands”with the British pianist Joseph Tong, Waka is also much in demand as a soloist. She has given recitals in various venues in UK, America, Europe and Japan as well as giving broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC World Service and WFMT Radio Chicago. Also as a chamber musician she has worked with various musicians including players from BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Wales Symphony Orchestra. Waka also enjoys performing new works and has worked with many composers including Dai Fujikura, Nicola LeFanu, John McCabe, Edwin Roxburgh and many more to name. Her newly released solo debut album, ‘Undiscovered Piano Works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’ from Naxos/Metropolis, has already attracted worldwide interest. The album has been featured in the “New Release Show with David Mellor” on Classic FM Radio as an album of the week in addition to being played on several radio stations in the USA and Canada.
Waka came to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Piers Lane with major scholarship and then at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Joan Havill where she won most of the major prizes for pianists. During this time she was awarded many prizes and scholarships including Sidney Perry Foundation Award from the KPMG/Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, generous assistance from the Craxton Memorial Trust. Since making her acclaimed London South Bank solo debut, she then went to win 3rd Prize in the 2000 British Contemporary Piano Competition Waka was made Associates of the Royal Academy of Music in 2008.
Together with her piano duo partner Joseph Tong Piano 4 Hands is widely regarded as one of Britain’s leading piano duos. Their debut CD of Debussy duets on the Quartz label was Album of the Week in The Independent and highly recommended in BBC Music Magazine and the Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music. Their more recent CD recordings of Schubert and John McCabe (both duo and solo piano works) have received similar critical acclaim in publication such as International Piano and Gramophone.
Waka is a passionate food lover, cooking enthusiast and keen writer. She gets inspired by travelling, reading and listening to jazz. Her favourite jazz musicians include Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker and Don Cherry. In her spare time she loves searching for old vintage music scores, dresses and art-deco furniture.