Ayako KAWAI, started taking piano lessons at the age of four and later studied at “TOHO Gakuen School of Music”, High school and on to the University.
In 1986, she won 1st prize at 40th All Japan Music Competition (High school student division) with NHK prize. Right after graduating from the Toho College, she was selected as the recording artist for NHK-FM recital, and was also chosen as a soloist for "Memorial Concert for the 50th Anniversary of Foundation of TOHO Gakuen school of Music”
In 1992, she went to France for her further studies at Ecole Normal de Musique de Paris, where she awarded 1st prize of Concertist Diploma. She then started to receive various top awards at the international competitions; the highest prize (2nd place without 1st place winner) at the 19th Salerno International Piano Competition (Italy) in 1996, the highest prize (2nd place without 1st place winner) with Rolex special prize at the 43rd Maria Canals International Piano Competition (Spain) in 1997, 2nd prize at the 8th Cantu International piano Concerto Competition (Italy) in 1998, and Semifinalist at Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition (Belgium) in 1999.
During her stay in Paris, she was invited to perform at Festival Chopin in Paris and at the Music Festival in Val d’Isere, and gave several concerts solo, duo and with the orchestra in France, Italy and Belgium.
Upon returning to Japan from Europe in 2000, Ayako KAWAI started to teach at Ferris University, College of Music in Yokohama. Also she was selected as an officially listed artist of "Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities" by Ministry of Home Affairs, with which she started to give lectures and recitals in Japan.
Since then, she performed at many prestigious occasions; In 2001, she was invited to perform as a soloist for “the 20th International Piano Festival” sponsored by Yokohama city and also was chosen as the first recommended soloist for Promising Up-coming Pianist Series called “Shun no pianist series” by Mr. Takahiro SONODA. She performed several times for “Famous Tune Recital” by NHK-FM and gave a recital in 2006 for "Regular Recitals " by Japan Chopin Association. She was also chosen as an artist for the “Young Virtuoso Series” sponsored by Steinway & Son Japan, and as an adviser and jury of national piano competition in Japan sponsored by PTNA (Piano Teachers National Association). Besides these activities, she continues to give various recitals and lecture concerts in all over the country.
She was invited to perform with various orchestras, such as Japan Shinsei Symphony Orchestra, The Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, and Century Orchestra Osaka.
In 2003, her debut CD, titled “Fantasy” was released, and her 2nd CD will be released in 2010.
She studied piano performance with Takiko YAMAMOTO, Keiko KAMAYACHI, Keiko KAHAZAWA, Mamiko SUDA, Germaine MOUNIER, Bernard RINGEISSEN, Sergio PERTICAROLLI, and Benjamin KAPLAN.