The Japanese-born pianist, Makiko Hirata, had private piano studies with Emiko Ito, and private composition studies with Andrew Thomas (1997-June 1989). She had studied at the Juilliard Pre-College Division student of Herbert Stessin and Richard Fabre (September 1989-June 1993), before she went on to earn her Bachelor of Music Degree at the Manhattan School of Music, MSM President's award, student of Marc Silverman and Sara Davies Buechner (September 1993-June 1997); and her Master's Degree, Piano Performance Scholarship at New York University as a student of Miyoko Nakaya-Lotto (September 1998-May 2000). She is currently working toward her Artist Diploma with renowned pianist and teacher John Perry at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Her awards and prizes include: First Prize at Manhattan School of Music Rachmaninoff Concerto Competition (October 1994); Winner at Manhattan School of Music Concerto Competition (October 1995); Outstanding studies in Graduate Piano Performances, NYU (May 1999).
Makiko Hirata's professional activities have extended throughout North and South America, her native Japan, and Europe. At 17, she was selected to tour with the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia, performing Sergei Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto. She performed Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto with the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia as a winner of its concerto competition. She performed concerti by Tovey, Lalo, Godard, and others as a regular guest soloist with the Jupiter Symphony Orchestra in New York City (1998-2001). She has toured throughout USA and Europe as the featured soloist with the Pecs Hungarian Symphony Orchestra with conductors Zsolt Hamar and Phillpe de Chalendar (2001-2003), and has performed as soloist with the Polish Philharmonic Resovia with conductor Tadeusz Wojciechowski (USA tours and concerts in Poland, 2002-2004) and Romanian Arad State Philharmonia with conductor Dorin Frandes (USA tour, 2006). In 2007 she played with Gijon Symphony Orchestra, Spain.
Her New York City solo debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in December 1998 was received with a standing ovation. Other recitals include: Yamaha Artists Services Salon Concert Series, New York City (2006); “The Previews” Concert Series, Manhattan Beach, California (2007); Colburn School Recital Series, Los Angeles, California (2007-present); Series “Half Time”, Yokohama, Japan (2007-present); Series “Kasuya no Mori Museum Presents”, Kanagawa, Japan (2001-present); Series “International Bridges”, Yokohama, Japan (2001-present).
Also a sought-after chamber musician, Makiko Hirata has collaborated with:clarinetist David Krakauer (recital at Anchorage Performing Arts Center, 2004), cellist Andre Emelianoff (New York recitals, 2005-2006); pianist Sara Davies Buechner, violinist Christiane Edinger (recital at University of Southern California, 2006), and many others. She makes regular guest appearances in chamber music series such as Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players in New York City (2002-2006), Concerts in the Heights, in New York City, Colburn Chamber Music Society (with Hagai Shaham and Ronald Leonard, 2007), and Sarasota Chamber Music Festival (2008),..
Makiko Hirata served as staff pianist of Jupiter Symphony Orchestra, New York City (January 1996-2001); studio/staff accompanist of the Julliard School (Sepember 2000-2007); adjunct Piano Instructor of Music Department at New York University (September 1998-May 2000); adjunct Instructor of Music Theory Department at New York University (Sepember 2000-2001). She was teaching assistant at Nara International Summer Academy, Japan (2003-2006), and since 2008 she is teaching assistant to John Perry at the The Colburn School. She has also given master-Classes, lecture recitals, and young people's concerts throughout USAStates and Japan.