Based in New York, NY
“The first piece I ever wrote, when I was seven, was called “Rainy Day in the Forest”, a short piano piece depicting the scenery I saw when I got caught in the rain in the middle of the forest. The sky suddenly getting dark and the strong sound of rain and thunder scared me, but I was also fascinated to see the forest in a wilder, more natural state. That memory left a big impression on me, and it felt natural for me to try capturing it with music when I was introduced to composition. To this day, drawing a landscape with music is one of my biggest inspirations in composing.”
A native of Kyoto, Japan, Ayumi is a classical music/musical theatre composer based in NYC and a Mannes Buhuslav Martinů Composition Award winner and a Goberman Prize recipient. Ayumi is a 2019 recipient of the BMI Jerry Harrington Awards For Outstanding Creative Achievement in Musical Theatre. For her work on a new musical, The Uncivil Ones, she and her collaborator were honored with a Special Mention at the 2019 Women in the Arts & Media Coalition Collaboration Awards.
Ayumi has been featured on Listening to Ladies as well as at TheBuzz.Show with Christine Bush. A number of her classical works have been performed by prestigious ensembles such as Listen Closely and A.W. Duo at various concert halls in NYC including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Ayumi’s debut EP, “Here, Where The Land Ends And The Sea Begins,” along with several other chamber pieces are published and available through Abundant Silence. Her musical theatre songs have been performed at The Duplex, Signature Theatre, and Feinstein’s/54 Below, among other venues.
After 10 years in the US, she spent 2020 in her hometown in Kyoto, where she reconnected with the scenery that fostered the inner world of her childhood. She started making a series of videos featuring piano improvisations inspired by the scenery she loves, both in NYC and Kyoto. Currently, there are six videos in the series and counting.
She holds an M.M. in Music Composition from Mannes College of Music and is a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 802, the Dramatists Guild of America, Maestra: NY Women Composers of Musical Theater, and the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop.
Ayumi has released an album of her chamber music, Here, Where the Land Ends on the Sea Begins.
A Sunny Autumn Day in Kyoto (2020) for piano. Composed and performed by Ayumi Okada.
“The light and the wind of a sunny autumn day in Kyoto has a special place in my heart. Its calmness is what I imagine/hope eternity would feel like.”
In the Shade of an Acacia Tree (2017) for viola. Composed by Ayumi Okada and performed by Rose Hashimoto.
“This piece is inspired by the way of life of a family living in a desert in the UAE with various kinds of animals. I wished to portray the gentleness of the afternoon they share in their beautiful garden.”