In 1999 Fujiko Hemming became an overnight sensation in Japan with a popular recording, La Campanella, which launched an international career taking her to major concert venues in New York, London, Paris, and Berlin, and to appearances with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, and other world-class ensembles.
Hemming is, to say the least, an unlikely success story. In the end, her indomitable spirit and extraordinary talent combined to finally yield the broad recognition she deserved throughout her career, a career documented by well over a dozen acclaimed recordings on JVC Victor, Domo Records, and EMI. Hemming's repertory is fairly large but consists mostly of standards by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Grieg, Debussy, Ravel, and many others.
Ingrid Fujiko (also Fuzjko) Hemming was born in Berlin, Germany, on December 5, 1932. From age five she lived in Japan with her Japanese mother, a pianist, who was her first piano teacher. Hemming studied from age ten with Leonid Kreutzer and had later studies at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
Despite having lost hearing in her right ear from a sickness in her teens, she established a concert career in Japan. At 28, however, she decided on further study, this time at the Berlin Institute of Music. Following graduation, she relocated to Vienna and maintained a reasonably successful career in Europe throughout the 1960s. During a series of concerts in Vienna in 1971 Hemming lost hearing in her left ear from another sickness. She received treatment in Sweden and hearing partially returned to the left ear.
Hemming moved to Heidelberg, Germany, where she taught for 15 years. After she resumed her concert career in the 1980s, Hemming enjoyed some success, but fell short of major stardom. She returned to Japan in 1996 and three years later a documentary about her career led to La Campanella, issued on JVC Victor, which would sell a reported two million copies.
This phenomenal success led to her Carnegie Hall debut in 2002 and subsequent concerts throughout Europe with major orchestras and at leading venues there. In 2008 she signed a recording contract with Domo Records, making a half-dozen CDs over the next two years. Her 2009 album Echoes of Eternity was a highly praised collection of works by Liszt, Chopin, and Schumann.