Ayako Uehara became the focus of international attention after winning the first prize in the 12th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, 2002.
Ayako made her debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in the 2005/06 season with Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, and returned to work with the orchestra in the next season. She also made her debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Noseda in the UK and on tour in Japan, and returned to the London Symphony Orchestra in February 2008 with Vassily Petrenko.
Other recent performances with orchestras include engagements with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra with Fabio Luisi, Dresden Philharmonic with Simone Young, Russian National Orchestra with Mikhail Pletnev, Toscanini Philharmonic with Lorin Maazel, a tour of Japan with the Berlin Radio Orchestra and Marek Janowski, and the New Japan Philharmonic with Seiji Ozawa. In May 2010, Ayako Uehara toured with the State Symphony Orchestra “Novaya Rossiya” led by Yuri Bashmet in Japan, performing Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto No. 1, winning critical acclaim.
In recital, Ayako Uehara tours Japan each season. In 2003 she made her London debut at Wigmore Hall and returned there in 2005. Other recitals include debuts in Italy, in Varese and Cervara, for the Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano; at the Ruhrgebiet Piano Festival (2003), the International Chopin Festival, Poland (2002 and 2005), the Dubrovnik Festival, Croatia (2003). In 2007/08 Ayako made her recital debuts in Copenhagen and at the Tonhalle, Zurich. And in August 2010 she participated in the 65th International Chopin Piano Festival in Duszniki, Poland.
Since 2003, Ayako has recorded exclusively with EMI International.