Rie Watanabe was born in Hokkaido, Japan in 1979. In 1999 she began studying drums at the National University of Fine Arts and Music in Tokyo under Makoro Aruga, Michiko Takahashi and Takafumi Fujimoto. Since 2005 she has studied at the College of Music in Karlsruhe under Prof. Isao Nakamura, Prof. Hans-Jörg Bayer, Prof. Jürgen Heinrich, Thomas Hoefs and Jochen Brenner.
Between 1999 and 2005 she was a member of the high-powered Ching-Dong Orchestra “Chanchiki tornade” in Tokyo, conducted by the composer Yuya Honda. She has also been a member of the New Music ensemble “Ensemble Bois” in Tokyo, conducted by Takeo Hoshiya, since 2003.
She has performed with a number of ensembles and orchestras, including the Musikfabrik Cologne, Klangforum Vienna, Chamber Ensemble for Modern Music Berlin, Ensemble Laboratorium, Ensemble 2x2 and the State Theatre of Baden.
She has also participated in several international music festivals, like the ISCM (Yokohama, Stuttgart), Witten Days for New Chamber Music (Witten), “Piano+” Festival (Karlsruhe), Klangwerkstatt (Berlin), “SINKRO” Festival, Vienna Festival Weeks, the electronic music festival “dBâle” (Basel), the ICMC (Basel) and others.
In 2004 she was awarded the Saji Keizo Prize by the Suntry Music Foundation for her performance in Chanchiki tornade, and in 2006, she received a scholarship from the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt. The Japanese government awarded her a scholarship to participate in the Overseas Study Program for Artists in 2006. In that same year, Watanabe established a drums/electronic music duo together with Shingo Inao “Ryngo”. In addition, she has played together with the pianist Marcelo Silvagama since 2007.
© Ensemble Modern