Rika Uchida is Associate Professor of Piano and Theory at Drake University. She received M.A. in Music Theory and D.M.A. in Piano Performance from the University of Oregon, where she studied piano with Dean Kramer and Victor Steinhardt. She has also studied solo piano with John Browning, Daniel Pollack and Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and chamber music with Brentano String Quartet in master classes. Prior to her appointment to Drake University in 2005, Uchida taught at the College of Wooster in Ohio in 2000-2001 and at the University of Oregon, where she taught as a teaching assistant for seven years.
As a pianist, Uchida has a special love for the works composed in the early twentieth century by Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Ravel and Scriabin. She performed Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto as a winner of the Concerto Competition at the University of Oregon, for which she received the Outstanding Performance Award from the University. Her master's thesis, Tonal Ambiguity in Debussy's Piano Music, traced the evolution of Debussy's new compositional techniques; her D.M.A. lecture-document, The New Language of Debussy's Douze Etudes, presented the structural analysis of selected Douze Etudes and performance interpretation.
Uchida performed a series of lecture-recitals: Music of Claude Debussy – from “Romantic to Modern Sound", and presented a piano master classes at Humboldt State University (CA), Youngstown State University (OH), Eastern Oregon University, California State University at Stanislaus, Casper College (WY), University of Nevada, Reno, and Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia. As a faculty exchange, she visited Minzu University, Beijing, China, to present a performance, lecture, master class and guest studio teaching in 2011 and 2012. She also visited Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang, to give collaborate performance and guest studio teaching in 2011.
Uchida enjoys performing chamber music, and collaborates with her colleagues at Drake University. She also specializes in music for two pianos, and has presented recitals national wide with her duo piano partners, Mio Aoike and Kumiko Shimizu.