For the past several years, Stephanie has played with her favourite accompanist, Kumi Matsuo. Kumi was born in Tokyo, Japan and is winner of the 5th Louisiana International Piano Competition in 2013. She has also won Second Prize at the 75th Music Competition of Japan in 2006, Third Prize at the 22nd Ferrol International Piano Competition in 2008 and First Prize at the 6th Isidor Bajic International Piano Competition in 2012.
Kumi graduated from the Toho Gakuen High School of Music and the Toho Gakuen University of Music in Tokyo. In 2007 she moved to London for her further study at the Royal College of Music where she gained an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music in Performance. Her study was supported by the Charles Napper Award, the Russell Gander Award and the Rohm Music Foundation.
In 2008 Kumi won RCM concerto competition and gave her London debut playing Ravel’s Piano Concerto for Left Hand in Cadogan Hall with RCM Sinfonietta conducted by Peter Stark. In 2009 she performed Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No.1 with RCM Chamber Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski at the Queen Elisabeth Hall. She also performed Prokofiev’s 3rd Piano Concerto with RCM Symphony Orchestra under Martin André at the Royal College of Music. In 2014 she gave her New York debut at Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall.
Kumi has played solo and chamber music in UK, USA, France, Holland, Poland, Romania, India and Japan and performed as a soloist with orchestras such as Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Galicia Symphony Orchestra, Banatul Symphony Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Constanza Symphony Orchestra and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. She has recently finished the Anthony Saltmarsh Junior Fellow in Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music.