A native of Japan, Chie Watanabe graduated from Tokyo College of Music with a Bachelor of Music Degree. After moving to the United States in 1998, she received an Artist Diploma from Texas Christian University, where she was a pupil of Tamá s Ungá r and Harold Martina. While at TCU, she was a winner of the University Concerto Competition that resulted in a performance of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. She continued graduate studies in New York at the Manhattan School of Music, where she was a student of Solomon Mikowsky and received the 2005 Roy M. Rubinstein Award for “Best young female pianist who demonstrates exceptional promise.” After moving back to TX, she received her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of North Texas where she studied with Gustavo Romero. Dr. Watanabe has received numerous awards and scholarships, and has won national and international prizes, including the Nagoya Television Piano Competition, the Mie Music Competition, the Young Artist Competition in San Antonio, the MTNA Competition in Texas, the Fort Collins Symphony Competition, the Wideman Piano Competition, the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship Competition and the Virginia Warning International Piano Competition.
She has performed in Texas, Colorado, California, and New York as well as in her native Japan. In 2006, she made her New York solo recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as an Artists International prizewinner. She also has given solo recitals in Valladolid, Gran Canaria and Tenerife at the International Piano Festival in Spain.
As an active collaborative musician, Dr. Watanabe won the 2004 Lillian Fuchs Memorial Chamber Music Competition in New York. In 2009, she was selected to present a faculty recital with William Scharnberg, Professor of Horn at the University of North Texas. In 2011, she was selected by renowned composer Jake Heggie to give the public premier of his new song cycle A Question of Light at the Dallas Museum of Art under the auspices of Dallas Opera.