Home People Chizumi Watanabe-Hollingworth

Chizumi Watanabe-Hollingworth

Classical Piano Tutor


From a young age, I was trained under the supervision of professional pianists at a specialist music institution in Tokyo, and continued my study with world-class experts from various European countries in my teenage years.

The music education I had in Japan was based on a strictly traditional European approach. It was a turning point to change my direction moving to the USA to study at Indiana University School of Music and to explore further in music as well as other humanity subjects.

During my study at the University, the legendary British concert pianist John Ogdon and his wife Brenda Lucas had been my personal tutors, and after finishing my degree course, I took on their suggestions to continue my study with them in the UK, and to explore opportunities in preparation to start my career as a concert pianist.

Career as a pianist :

During my 20’s, a number of opportunities arose which helped to make me a recognisable pianist, particularly after moving to Glasgow where my husband’s work was placed.

The Universities in both Edinburgh and Glasgow offered me regular recital opportunities and provided teaching occasions for their piano students. Within these higher education institutions, both professional and enthusiasts there helped me play at music venues and persuaded BBC Scotland to audition me for radio programmes. As a result, I was offered to record several programmes of premier contemporary music by both Scottish and English composers, and this role later led to the opportunities to broadcast from BBC Radio 3.

Teaching and Musicological :

Having spent my earlier life as a performer, Musicological  research was always important in my life, and probably this is my original and ultimate subject since I started to play the piano and to know the real meaning of music.

After returning to England, an ideal opportunity arose when the University of Southampton invited me to teach their students. It was an eye-opening experience to explore the works of several composers with the students at the University, and, in particular, we looked at individual styles (habit) in the notational manner of these composers. This reflects not only an historical background also the degree of their understanding of musical notations as communication devices.

Since then, my specialised subjects have been the interpretation of Mozart, Schubert and Chopin, and with valuable advice given by the musicologists from Japan, Austria and Germany, I have written articles on these composers and their works.

Some 30 years ago I was invited to teach piano at Bishop Otter College / University of Chichester. Here I have combined performance and research into aspects of music, with teaching young musicians. My time with the University of Chichester and its students illustrates my view that it is always a delight and surprise when we find a new discovery in music. We all have different backgrounds and experiences in our lives, and I know that it is as individuals that we seek out a more personal understanding of an author’s (composer’s) inner world. However, my aim is to show the original thoughts (benchmarks) of the composers by demonstrating how their works were written in order to communicate their real intentions. I would like to help young pianists to develop their new approach to their understanding of music.

Other department members

Alison Bell
Assistant Administrator
Alison Woodward
Alison Woodward
Deputy Director, University of Chichester Conservatoire
Programme Coordinator - BA Hons Acting for Film and BA Hons Music
Alonso Mendoza-Moreno
Alonso Mendoza-Moreno
Associate Lecturer - Instrumentalist

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