Ayako Maeda was born in Osaka, Japan. She graduated from Kobe College with the top honour and was awarded the Hanna Gulick Suehiro Prize. In 1994, Ayako moved to Paris, where she completed her education at the top of the list at École Normale de Musique de Paris, École Nationale de Musique de Romainville, École Nationale de Musique à Aulnay-sous-Bois and Conservatoire Municipal Georges Bizet. On top of that, she won the Highest Special Honor from the École Normale de Musique de Paris.
During her study, she won first prizes at several competitions in Europe; such as ‘U.F.A.M. International Music Competition’, ‘Lutèce Flute Competition’, ‘L.Wurmser Flute Competition’ (thus far in Paris), and ‘Cremona International Music Academy and Competition’ in Italy, allowing her to perform for many gala concerts across France. She has ever learned under Ryoichi Sone, Yumiko Sakuma, Shigenori Kudo, Christian Larde, Benoit Fromanger and Patric Gallois.
In 1997, Ayako started her career as a flutist by the solo recital at Salle Cortot in Paris. After her return to Japan, she gave her first solo recital in Japan at Izumi Hall (Osaka), followed by numerous solo and joint recitals; such as at Ishihara Hall in Osaka, Tokyo Opera City, etc. In 1999, she received the Osaka Cultural Festival Encouragement Award for her performance in Osaka. She had played as a member of the flute quartet ‘Quatre-Couleurs’ until 2005 and also with many orchestras; such as the Saito Kinen Orchestra under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, the Asia Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Myung-Whun Chung, the Jean-François Paillard Chamber Orchestra and the Mito Chamber Orchestra.
She is now performing as soloist as well as a member of the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, along with teaching as a part-time lecturer at the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music. In recent years, she is expanding her activities to Asian countries including China, Singapore and Taiwan through holding Yamaha-sponsored concerts and master classes, etc. In 2012, she received an Award in the Performance category from the Japan Academic Society of Wind Music. She has released three solo albums; minuit (2002), purity (2005) and chez M (2012).