The Japanese pianist, Mari Kumamoto, began to study the piano at the age of 5. When she was 10, her family moved to Spain. From 1975, she studied under Joaquin Soriano at the Madrid National School of Music. She took the first prize in the Spain Youth Music Contest. In 1982, she entered the Julliard School of Music on a scholarship, where she studied under Sascha Gorodnitzki. Later in 1985, she entered the Royal Academy of Music in the UK, where she studied under Christopher Elton, and privately, under Andrew Esterhazy. She won a prize at the Newport International Music Competition for Young Pianists, which was presented by the late Diana, Princess of Wales. After graduating the Royal Academy of Music in 1986, she became the youngest recipient of the Recital Diploma. She returned to Japan the same year.
In 1991, Mari Kumamoto made the world's first recording of the complete works of the Spanish composer Frederico Mompou (1893-1987). In 1993, she translated the biography of Mompou, "Musica Callada". The same year, she was named an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM), a distinction conferred only upon Royal Academy graduates who have shown conspicuous achievements. In 1994, she performed in Prague with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at its Sylvester (New Year's Eve) concert. In 1996, she held a recital in Spain, as a participant of "Japan Week". In 1998, she held a recital in Prague, and also performed with Josef Suk and the Suk Chamber Orchestra. She has been going on tour in Japan every autumn since 1995.
From April 2000, Mari Kumamoto played the role of host in the program "BS Classic Pick-Up" of "Geijutsu Gekijo" ("Art Theater") broadcasted on NHK Educational TV. The year 2001 marked the 15th anniversary of her debut, which led her to give a commemorative tour in October. Her collection of essays Bara-yo-Katatte ("Dear Rose, Please Talk to Me") has been published from Tokyo Ongaku Sha , Oto-yo-Kagayake ("Let the Sound Shine") , Puerta del sol, La Pianista from Frédéric Chopin. She has released numerous CD's from King Records, her latest being, "Chopin Nocturnes". With her involvement in a variety of activities, the multi-talented Kumamoto continues to win a wide range of fans.