Cobalt Duo are pianists Kate Halsall and Fumiko Miyachi. Since their debut performance at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2014 they have championed new music by a diverse selection of composers from across the UK, including many pieces by Miyachi herself. They have performed and commissioned music by Emily Abdy, Ryoko Akama, Hugo Bell, Joel Bell, Philip Cashian, Leo Chadburn, Richard Glover, Anton Lukoszevieze, Duncan McLeod, Egidija Medekšaitė, Andrew Morgan, Dominic Murcott, Katherine Norman, Paul Norman, Helen Papaioannou, Naomi Pinnock, Andrew Poppy, Colin Riley, Matthew Rowan, Emma Ruth Richards, Richard Stenton, Ruta Vitkauskaitė and Michael Wolters. Their repertoire also includes music by Schubert, Poulanc, Debussy, Tailleferre, Messiaen, Judith Weir, David Lang and Meredith Monk.
They were featured artists on Catalogue d’Emojis, a multi-layered ‘concert event’ released by Birmingham Record Company in 2019 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show, and recorded a number of works for Halsall’s Miniaturised Concertos album, released on Metier in 2015. Miyachi’s works for the duo, Cobalt and Silver, were released on her debut album Transitional Metal in 2017, also on Metier, which the duo toured in 2018.
Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Strange, Charm is named after Miyachi’s latest work for the duo, and features a wide variety of music for two pianos and piano four hands.
“The ambition of the Miniaturised Concertos concert with Kate Halsall and Fumiko Miyachi accompanied by the University of York’s Chimera Ensemble, was inspirational; much character and vibrancy was on offer throughout the whole programme.” (Tempo)
“Although not billed as a concerto, [an dt wo] threw up many issues associated with that idiom, its central deific sine tone, omnipresent and unchanging, declaring a challenging interaction with the pianos (played by Kate Halsall and Fumiko Miyachi), a struggle conducted with overwhelming gentleness.” (5against4)