Monday, December 6, 2010

New album -Liszt/ Ab Irato-

I am pleased to announce that my new album has been released in Japan and got a favorable review in the Nikkei News Paper.

Contents:
Grandes Etudes de Paganini
Trois Etudes de Concert
Etude de Perfectionnement "Ab Irato"
Zwei Konzertetueden
Rhapsodie Espagnole
Liebestraum No.3

Description:
Liszt is one of my heroes, and I wanted to make a recording with his piano works prior to his 200th birth anniversary. This CD features fantastic and virtuosic etudes that Liszt wrote for concerts, including Grande Etude de Perfectionnement "Ab Irato", which is fascinating but seldom played. It also has a very interesting background!

Price:
20 EUR + Shipment (Payment by Pay Pal)

You can order the CD here.

I hope many people will enjoy listening to the CD!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kritik aus Leipziger Volkszeitung

Ich bekam eine schöne Kritik in Leipziger Volkszeitung über mein Konzert im Gewandhaus Mendelssohnsaal.

„... am überzeugendsten ist der Pianist auch gerade dann, wenn Virtuosität und technische Brillanz im Vordergrund stehen -kraftvoll lässt er es perlen, souverän arbeitet er sich durch kniffligen Kontrapunkt. ...Das Publikum liebt den bescheidenen Virtuosen. Und der hat es verdient.“


Hier ist die ganze Kritik.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My performances in Latin America

Last month, I had wonderful experiences in Latin America.

On October 14th, I performed the Liszt Piano Concerto No.1 with the YOA Orchestra of the Americas and Maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto in Santo Domingo. This Orchestra consists of young talented musician from North-Middle-South America, and it was so inspiring to perform with them!

From October 21st to 30th, I participated in the BNDES International Piano Competition in Rio De Janeiro. It was my first visit not only in Brazil, but in South America! I enjoyed playing the various music in front of enthusiastic public and was delighted to advance to the final round and perform the Liszt Piano Concerto No.2 with the Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira and Maestro Joseph Giunta in the gorgeous Theatro Municipal! Finally I had an honor to receive the 2nd Prize.

Both places are so beautiful (especially the ocean!), and I was happy to make good friends. I really hope to go back to Latin America to perform in the future!

If anyone in the Middle-South America has interest to invite me, my agent in Argentina would be happy to be in contact with you.

Ana Maria Gutnisky Sercovich -  Representante Artístico
Arenales 1148 -  4 to. Piso “B”      Tel/Fax (5411)  4814-0397
(C1061AAJ)  Buenos Aires, Argentina 
Email:anamarmusik@hotmail.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mein Klavierabend im Gewandhaus zu Leipzig

Heute möchte ich für mein nächstes Konzert in Deutschland Werbung machen.

Es wird mein Debüt im Gewandhaus zu Leipzig sein!

Dies sind die Details:
Datum: Samstag, 20. November 2010, 20 Uhr
Ort: Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Mendelssohn Saal (Augustusplatz 8, 04109 Leipzig)

Programm:
Johann Sebastian Bach
     aus "Kunst der Fuge" BWV 1080
     Contrapunctus 1, 2, 7 und 9
Robert Schumann
     Variations sur un theme d'ABEGG OP.1,
     Novelletten Op.21, Nr.1,2 und 8
Frédéric Chopin
     Ballade Nr.1 g-moll Op.23,
     Waltz No.3 a-moll Op.34-2,
     Ballade Nr.2 F-dur Op.38,
     Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante Op.22

Eintritt: 15 EUR, 10 EUR (ermäßigt)

Tickets: an allen bekannten VVK-Stellen, unter http://www.gewandhaus.de/ und unter 0341-1270-280


Ich habe die besondere, große Freude und Ehre, dort Bach und Schumann zu spielen, weil sie beide in Leipzig gelebt und große Leistungen vollbracht haben. Daneben wurden beide Werke, die Kunst der Fuge und Novelletten, in Leipzig geschrieben!

Hier können Sie über die Beziehung beider Komponisten zur Stadt lesen. Informationen über diese Stücke finden Sie auf folgenden Seiten:
Kunst der Fuge
Novelletten

Chopin hatte mit Leipzig wenig zu tun, aber große Achtung vor J. S. Bach, insbesondere für seine wunderbare kontrapunktische Musik, und war mit Schumann gut befreundet, obwohl ihre Musik gegensätzlich ist. Chopins Ballade Nr.1 war das Lieblingsstück von Schumann, Chopin wiederum hat die 2. Ballade Schumann gewidmet.


Ich würde mich sehr freuen, wenn Sie recht zahlreich an meinem Debüt im Mendelssohn Saal des Leipziger Gewandhauses teilhaben!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Critique sur mon concert à Aubergenville

Voici la critique sur mon récital à Aubergenville, qui est apparue dans le Courrier de Mantes au 13 octobre.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reseña y criticas sobre mi concierto en Santander

Estos son las reseña y criticas sobre mi concierto en Santander, donde he estrenado la obra de Francesco Milita el 21 de agosto.




Friday, September 24, 2010

Reviews of my recital at the Berlin Konzerthaus

Here are two reviews of my recital at the Berlin Konzerthaus (August 15th).

Mundo Clasico (Español)


モーストリークラシック (Japanese)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Die Fackel im Ohr (The World Première)

I'm now preparing for the concert in the Festival Internacional de Santander this coming Saturday. Since I will premiere a work by Mr.Francesco Milita, the 1st Prize winner of the Concurso Internacional de Composición Pianística "Manuel Valcárcel", I would like to introduce its interesting concept here.


(The following text is written by the composer.)

Die Fackel im Ohr
24 Wiener Klavierstücke
composed by Francesco Milita

Titles:
1. In flation und Ohnmacht, 2. Der Ausbruch, 3. Die Rechtfertigung, 4. Pension Charlotte (Berceuse), 5. Der Gemmenschneider, 6. Veza (Etude Sentimental), 7. Praterstraße 22, 8. Ecce Homo, 9. Frühe Ehre des Intellekts, 10. Die Herausforderung, 11. Enge, 12. Einladung ins Leere, 13. Fehltritte, 14. Der Pavillon der Irren, 15. Die Schule des Hörens, 16. Das ewige Antliz, 17. Die Briefe im Baum, 18. Das Geschenk, 19. The Raven (Hommage an Edgar Allan Poe), 20. "Le Plaidozer d'un fou", 21. Sturm und Zwang, 22. Flucht (Fuga, Hommage an Felix Mendelssohn), 23. Kant fängt Feuer, 24. Die Frucht des Feuers (Hommage an Frank Zappa)

Concept:
Composed après une lecture de... Elias Canetti, "Die Fackel im Ohr", includes 24 Wiener Klavierstücke, in homage to the Viennese school.
12 of these pieces are composed on a twelve-tone series, with reminiscences of expressionist colour, alternate with the other 12, built on fragments of the same series and subsequent permutations, however characterized by softer harmonic relations.

The emotional intensity that resonates on some pages is a composer's tribute to the great masters of the composition. Pensionne Charlotte, for example, where he transfiguring the Chopin style, or Veza, real romantic studio set on a particular piano technique; Flucht, is the homage to the refined contrapuntal technique of Felix Mendelssohn and die Frucht des Feuers, dedicated to Frank Zappa, was conceived as consequence, indeed, of the Bartok percussive furor, which emerges from the depths of the keyboard.

But the glow of another fire pervades the whole work, so that in each of these 24 preludes, as well as in Canetti's book, we find variations of the same disquiet background: the CHAOS, perpetual threat and valuable nourishment of our inspiration.




It's quite a challenge for me to prepare this monumental work within two months (there are nearly 100 pages, it takes about 55 minutes!), but I've been learning many things and was glad to discover the wonderful literature of Elias Canetti.
¡Naturalmente me alegro mucho también de trabajar con el compositor y de tocar pronto en Santander de nuevo!

Monday, July 26, 2010

My recital in the Konzerthaus Berlin

Today I would like to do a little publicity for my next concert in Berlin. So I write in German from the next paragraph.


Am Sonntag, 15. August um 15uhr, spiele ich im Konzerthaus Kleiner Saal im Rahmen von Young Euro Classic Klavierfestival. Es ist mir eine große Ehre und Freude, zum ersten Mal im berühmten Konzerthaus spielen zu können.
Zu meinem Programm möchte ich hier einige kurze Erläuterungen geben.

Johann Sebastian Bach – Contrapunctus 1, 2, 7 und 9
aus „Kunst der Fuge“ BWV 1080 (1750)
Jōji Yuasa – Cosmos Haptic (1957)
Tōru Takemitsu – Rain Tree Sketch (1982)
Frédéric Chopin – Ballade Nr. 3 As-Dur op. 47 (1841),
Nocturne Nr. 13 c-Moll op. 48 Nr. 1 (1841),
Ballade Nr. 4 f-Moll op. 52 (1842)

Die Kunst der Fuge ist eine der letzten Kompositionen von Bach und sehr rätselhaft, weil er das Werk (die letzte Fuge) nicht vollendet hat. Man weiß nicht, für welches Instrument er geschrieben hat. Es ist tatsächlich eine große, schwierige Aufgabe, dieses kontrapunktische Werk auf dem modernen Flügel zu spielen. Das ist eine Herausforderung, durch die ich sehr viel lerne, und ich freue mich darauf, ein Konzert mit dieser heiligen, schönen Musik zu beginnen.

Danach spiele ich zwei japanische Stücke. Toru Takemitsu ist vielleicht der bekannteste japanische Komponist im 20. Jahrhundert, aber Joji Yuasa ist auch ein sehr großer Komponist. Er war ein Kollege von Takemitsu, mit dem er oft in der Workshop - Gruppe für die avantgardistische Kunst kurz nach dem 2.Weltkrieg zusammen gearbeitet hat.
Die Kombination dieser beiden Stücke mag ich sehr, weil sie die Beziehung von Kosmos und Natur musikalisch beschreiben und verschiedene Schönheiten von japanischer Kultur zeigen.

Cosmos Haptic von Yuasa wurde nach der Inspiration vom Nō-Teather komponiert, und hat einen schönen Kontrast zwischen den angespannten Akkorden und den zärtlichen Melodien, sowie den systematischen Takten, welche Kosmos und Menschen charakterisieren.

„Rain Tree“ ist ein Titel eines Romans von Kenzaburo Oe, ein bekannter japanischer Schriftsteller. Rain Tree ist ein imaginärer Baum, der die Regentropfen auf den Blättern behält und sie langsam zur Wurzel fallen lässt, so dass der Baum bis zum nächsten Tagen nicht trocken wird. Diese Idee hat Takemitsu so gefallen, dass er 3 Stücke nach dieser Inspiration komponierte. Im Gegenteil von Cosmos Haptic, hat dieses Stück eine entspannende und sinnliche Atmosphäre, aber doch beinhaltet es ein chaotisches Drama.

Zum Abschluss spiele ich drei Werke von Chopin, um sein Jubiläum zu feiern. Sie können mein Tagebuch vom 1.März in diesem Blog nachlesen und bestimmt verstehen, warum ich diese Werke ausgewählt habe.

Ich würde mich sehr freuen, wenn Sie recht zahlreich an meinem Debüt im Konzerthaus teilhaben!

Auf dieser Seite können Sie die Tickets bestellen.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My second recital at the Wigmore Hall

I am pleased to announce that the date for my second recital at the Wigmore Hall (London) has been confirmed! I will perform the following programme on Tuesday 11th of January, 2011.

R.Schumann/ from the Novelletten Op.21 No.1,2,8
F.Chopin/ Nocturne No.13 in C-minor Op.48-1, Ballade No.4 in F-minor Op.52
F.Liszt/ Zwei Konzertetüden S.145, Ab Irato (Étude de Perfectionnement) S.143, Grandes Études de Paganini S.140

It is a huge honour for me to play short after the New Year in such a prestigious hall, and to celebrate F.Liszt for his 200th birth anniversary as well as the two other composers for their "201st" anniversary!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Radio Broadcast: Schumann Piano Concerto

The Classical 89 will broadcast my performance of Schumann Piano Concerto with the Utah Symphony and Maestro Lawrence L.Smith tomorrow, Thursday July 8th at 10a.m. and 3p.m. in Utah time (12p.m. & 5p.m. in NY, 6p.m.&11p.m. in Germany, 1a.m.&6a.m. in Japan)

You can listen to the broadcast by clicking here.

There will be my short talk before and after the performance.

Études ''Li...''

Today, I would like to introduce one of my recital projects for the year 2011 in memory of 200th birth anniversary of Franz Liszt.

Programme: Études "Li..."
Liszt:
-Trois Études de Concert
1.Il Lamento, 2.La Leggerezza, 3.Un Sospiro
-Étude de Perfectionement -Ab irato
-Zwei Konzertetüden
1.Waldesrauschen, 2.Gnomenreigen
-from the Études d'exécution transcendante
3.Paysage, 5.Feux Follets
-from the Grandes Etudes de Paganini
3.La Campanella
Ligeti: -from the Etudes 1st book
1.Touches bloquées, 4.Fanfares, 5.Arc-en-ciel, 6.Automne à Varsovie
Liapunov (Lyapunov):
-from the Etudes d'exécution transcendante
1.Berceuse, 11.Rondo des Sylphes, 12.Elégie en Mémoire de François Liszt

The concept:
These pieces are all etudes that have subtitles and fantastic content (it's not just "studies"to improve one's pianistic skill). I think Liszt is one of the first composers who attempted to create a new horizen of "Etude"to make them played in concerts, and the Etudes of Ligeti and Liapunov were much influenced by Liszt. Putting those etudes together in a program, I accidentaly found a common point of these three composers; their names begin with "Li"!!
I wonder if this is the key to the fantastic concert etudes...

I hope to present this program in many different countries and cities next year!

Contact my general management: Konzertdirektion Lee

Concert Reviews updated

“Kotaro Fukuma’s performance of Schumann’s Concerto in A was an exercise in elegance and beauty.”
-Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, July, 10

“Having Fukuma in the final round is a treat. Everything is in his favor, and he’s a real power right now.”
-Deseret News, Salt Lake City, July, 10

“La poésia de la claridad y del color”
-Diario de Sevilla, Sevilla, June, 10

“Fuerza expresiva”
-Heraldo de Aragón, Zaragoza, March, 10

“Fantástico Fukuma”
-La Nueva España, Oviedo, April, 10

“Kotaro Fukuma präsentierte Poesie am Klavier”
-Wilhelmshaven Zeitung, Wilhelmshaven, January, 10

“真のピアノ教養と非凡な技術。満ち満ちたスペイン色、舞曲の微妙なリズムの取り方、マドリッドの下町気分の醸成といったものは、スペイン音楽に関する万巻の書を読破しても表出できるものではないし、メシアンの『幼子イエスに注ぐ20のまなざし』の演奏における、敬虔なカトリック信仰に根ざした愛の究極の表現など、作品の根幹を理解して初め得て可能なワザだ。そして、そこに高い技術が伴っているところが彼の非凡なところで、その技術が単に指の技術にとどまらず、楽器を芯から鳴らすというベーシックな技術であることに頼もしさ一入だった。“
-月刊ショパン、Tokyo, February, 09

„これはまた闊達な技巧を持つ若手だが、しかしその「凄さ」は「凄み」とは異なる様相を演奏にもたらした。癖も粘りもない清潔さにも結び付いた所以だ。“
-音楽現代、Tokyo, December, 08

„過去に知るどのタイプのピアニストとも異なる逸材。全身の筋肉を無駄なく使った打鍵から高速オクターブもらくらくと弾かれる一方、パッセージは真珠色を帯びる。プリペイドの手法を鮮やかに成功させたユイレ作品の日本初演も忘れ難かった。“
-音楽の友、Tokyo, December, 08

“con un estupendo concierto K.488 traducido con claridad de concepto y espléndidos recursos interpretativos que alcanzaron su mejor momento en el adagio en el que puso bellos acentos expresivos.”
-El Diario Montañés, Santander, August, 08

“Fukuma combines the technical virtuosity with a superb musical sensibility and sensitivity that brings the emotional impact of the works to the surface. The music scene nowadays is overwhelmed with talent and virtuosity but nothing to compare with this young man.”
-The Churchill Society, London, June, 08

“Exceptional pianist offers dash and nuance.”
-Herald Tribune, Sarasota FL, April, 08

“Fukuma is in the first place a man of sound, imperturbable in his pursuit of sonority.”
Thys Odedaal, Hilton, February, 08

“The pianist displayed a faultless technique and musicality of the highest quality throughout.”
-Die Burger, Cape Town, March, 08

“Japanese pianist left an insightful impression of well-considered musical integrity.”
-Volksblad, Pretoria, March, 08

“多彩なタッチを使い分ける、絶妙なバランス感覚が注目された。技巧面で余裕があるうえに、ピュアな美しさが漂っている。”
-音楽の友、Tokyo, February, 08

“武満の作品に影響を与えたドビュッシー、メシアン、ケージの小品が交えられ、その人生が語られてゆく。鋭く美しい音の下に、その神秘さを失うことなく明らかにされてゆき、魅力的に響いた。”
-音楽現代、Paris, September, 07

“Le jeune Kotaro Fukuma compose un programme raffiné, présente chaque oeuvre avec passion, sincérité et humour et joue le tout avec un instinct poétique supérieur.”
-Le Monde de la Musique, Toulouse, September, 07

“Impression soleil levant... ”
-Classic Toulouse, Toulouse, September, 07

“Magico Fukuma”
-Corriere della Maremma, Monte Argentario, August, 07

“第一音がなった瞬間、彼の作り出す音楽のすべてが聴こえた気がした。”
-月刊ショパン、Tokyo, May, 07

“Standing Ovation for brilliant young pianist with extrovert flair”
-Port Elizabeth Herald, Port Elizabeth, September, 06

“In detail and overall architecture, this was an exceedingly fine performance, one which led directly to a desire to hear more from this winsome young pianist.”
-Northeast Wisconsin Music Review, Green Lake WI, July, 06

“An extraordinary Pianist”
-Sanibel Review, Sanibel FL, February, 06

“Just as strong an offering was the young Fukuma’s rendition of the Beethoven third concerto”
-Port Lincoln Journal Star, Lincoln NE, March, 06

“Perhaps the orchestra musicians were a bit inspired by the brilliant playing of the piano soloist Kotaro Fukuma. He seemed totally at ease in Bartok’s Concerto No.2. Fukuma played with great conviction the never slackened.”
-The Post-Star, Glens Falls NY, March, 05

“Japanese pianist impresses audience- His technique was impeccable, and he showed himself to be a gifted lyricist as well.”
-Canton Repository, Canton OH, December, 04

“Young pianist triumphs over program’s challenges. There are times when I really, I mean really, love this job. We’re all going to hear a lot more about him in coming years, or at least we all should.”
-Courier Journal, Louisville KY, November, 04

“Such a fine performance comes only a few times in anyone’s life, even if the person devotes his life to attending concerts.”
-The Post Journal, Jamestown NY, November, 04

“Kotaro Fukuma has already established himself as a concert pianist with a burgeoning international career.”
-The Plain Dealer, Cleveland OH, February, 04

“Kotaro Fukuma has the solid technique one expects of a competition winner. More crucially, he has found a way to avoid the pressure toward interpretive cautiousness that has made the competition circuit so deadly. His performance of the Brahms Sonata No.3 in F minor went farther in the regard of tone palette. In the outer movements and in the Scherzo he played with a weight, articulation and coloristic flexibility that touched on an often overlooked aspect of Brahmsian sensibility, a sense of grandeur couched in terms of sober modesty. And he painted the two Andante movements with a gently seductive tone, complete clarity of texture, and the kind of dynamic gradation that creates the illusion that a work is a breathing organism.”
-The New York Times, New York City, November, 03

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition

When I was 14 years old, I took part in the Gina Bachauer Young Artists Competition in Salt Lake City. It was the very first time for me to fly to the USA and perform in an "international" piano competition. I was much inspired and encouraged by the other competitors as well as the jury members throughout the competition.

At that time, I had a passion for music and piano, but I was doing many other things (baseball, track and field, student council and of course, playing with other kids and watching TV!). And my family lived in a condo, where I could play piano until 9p.m.. So the time I spent for the piano practicing was about 2 hours per day, even before coming to the competition.

On the first day of the competition, I was shocked to know that the other contestants (age 14 to 18) were going to play something extremely difficult like Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, Liszt's Dante Sonata, Mephist Waltz, Dutilleux's Sonata, Barber's Sonata, etc. And everything I was going to play was shorter than 10 minutes like Liszt/ Waldesrauschen, Schumann/ Aufschwung, Debussy/ Reflet dans l'eau...I even played Poulenc's Novelette No.1, which is a 3 minutes-long easy pretty piece!

So, I immediately thought "I should not have come here!" and didn't even think that I could advance to the final. But I did miracles! I was selected as one of the 12 finalists, and even awarded the 6th prize.

It was so hard for me and my mother to believe this result that we needed to ask each member of juror, why I could win the prize! One of the jury members said "I loved your Poulenc, it was purely beautiful. I also enjoyed the joy of playing music you showed us through your performance!".
Since then the Poulenc's Novelette No.1 has been my favorite and very important piece, and I've never forgotten the importance of the "joy of playing music" at every performance. Also, I started seriously thinking of becoming a professional pianist and working harder. So, it was a very important exprience in my life.


Now I came back to Salt Lake City to take part in the Gina Bachauer Artists Piano Competition (age 19 to 32), and have just been selected as one of the 6 finalists last night!

I'm going to perform the Schumann Piano Concerto on Wednesday June 30th (approx.7:40p.m.in SLC time) with the Utah Symphony and Maestro Lawrence L. Smith, with whom I played Beethoven 3rd in Oregon in the Summer 2004. I realized that this is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Schumann, since it's still in the month of his birthday (June 8th)!

What an honor and how exciting!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy 200th Birthday, R.Schumann!

June 8th is Robert Schumann's birthday, so there were some special events in Berlin yesterday. But I had to work hard and was too tired to go out afterwards, so I stayed home and celebrated it modestly, listening to one of my favorite CDs of Schumann piano music, which is the recording of my former teacher in Paris, Mr.Bruno Rigutto.

I discovered this CD soon after I started studying with him at the Paris Conservatoire. At that time I was a teanager and had difficulty adjusting myself to the life in Paris because of the lack of my language ability and general knowledge about the life. When I listened to this CD, my heart was so profoundly touched by the emotional playing and the rich and warm sound of Mr.Rigutto that I couldn't help but cry... At the next lesson, I brought him the CD and asked for his autograph. Unexpectedly, he wrote me such a encouraging word; "Pour Kotaro, Magnifique pianiste, très Artiste!" (To Kotaro, magnificent pianist, very artist!) So, this CD has been really one of my treasures!


Bruno Riguto, Schumann, Lyrinx label
(Harmonia mundi distribution)




Schumann/ Variations sur un thème de Clara Wieck Op.14, Fantasie Op.17, Arabesque Op.18, Scène d'enfants Op.15, two transcriptions of his Lieder; Frühlingsnacht and Liebeslied (arranged by Franz Liszt).

I especially like his programming and his way of transitioning from one piece to another. It's really fantastic!
Bravo and thank you very much, Mr.Rigutto and Mr. Schumann!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Crítica en Sevilla 2

Aquí una otra crítica del concierto en Sevilla.

Gran abanico
(ABC de Sevilla, el 4 de Junio)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crítica en Sevilla

Aquí la crítica de mi concierto del Festival de Juventudes Musicales de Sevilla.

La poésia de la claridad y del color
(Diario de Sevilla, el 2 de Junio)

¡Me ha encantado muchísimo, lo que el crítico ha escrito!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Schumann Haus and Bach Museum in Leipzig

I'm sorry for being lazy to update my blog. I came back to Berlin on May 7th after the concert in Helsinki. I do like travelling around, but coming back home always makes me feel good :-)

Today, I visited a friend in Leipzig and spent a wonderful time. We went to the Schumann Haus and the Bach Museum. As I'm currently working on pieces by these two composers, they were so inspiring to me.

There are at least 6 Schumann Hauses in Germany (Zwickau, Düsseldorf, Bonn, Trier, Metz and Leipzig), but this house in Leipzig is quite important to me, because this is where Robert and Clara lived together after their marriage and Robert wrote his amazing song cycle and his piano concerto for Clara, although he dedicated them to other people (supposedly for friendship?).

I enjoyed discovering the background of the composition of the Piano Concerto and seeing the manuscript of the Fantasy for piano and orchestra, which became the first movement of the Piano Concerto later on.

There were many quotes of R.Schumann, but I especially liked the following, which he wrote in a letter to his former teacher, Mr.Johann Gottfried Kuntsch, in 1832.

"Die Fugen selbst hab'ich der Reihe nach bis in ihre feinsten Zweigen zergeliedert; der Nutzen davon ist groß und wie von einer moralisch-stärkenden Wirkung auf den ganzen Menschen, denn Bach war ein Mann -durch und durch; bei ihm gibt's nichts Halbes, Krankes, ist alles wie für ewige Zeiten geschrieben."

("I have dissected Fugues (by Bach) themselves, one by one, up to their finest branches. The value is great, like a morally fortifying effect on the entire person, because Bach was a man, through and through; with him there's nothing halfway or sick, everything is written as if for eternity.")

The Bach Museum opened this March in front of the St.Thomas Church, where Bach was working as Cantor and Music Director for many years. The building looks symple, but the inside is full of modern technology. It is the most modernized museum of a classical composer I've ever seen! (Well, La Maison Erik Satie in Honfleur was also quite amusing with modern technology.)

I especially enjoyed the special exhibition "Meisterwerke im Wochentakt" (Masterpieces on a weekly basis"), where I could see some parts of his manuscript of cantatas, listen to its recordings with a headphone and read of course its conception and background. I was also amazed to see the family tree of Bach, even though I knew that he had many children (20 in total, but only 10 survived infancy!) . There was a room where you can sit on a comfortable sofa and listen to any work of Bach with headphone, searching by the BWV catalogue or title or instruments. But be careful, it is so relaxing that you can easily forget the time!

Anyway, the visit of those two museums fortified my motivation to work on their music (the Schumann's piano concerto and the Bach's Art of Fugue) enormously!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Criticas de mi gira en España

Estos son las criticas sobre mi gira artística por España el ultimo mes.

Fuerza expresiva
(Herardo de Aragón, Zaragoza, el 23 de marzo)
Fantástico Fukuma
(La Nueva España, Oviedo, el 1 de abril)
Dominio técnico y perspectiva internacional
(La Nueva España, Gijón, el 2 de abril)

Parece que volveré a tocar en algunas ciudades el próximo febrero.
¡Estoy tan contento!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My general management

I am pleased to tell you that the Konzertdirektion Lee has become my general management and will present me worldwide (except Japan, South Africa and South America).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Video letter por el público español

I have a concert tour in Spain from 13th to the end of this month. I'm going to preform in 10 cities, where I've never played before (except Santander!), so I made this video letter to introduce myself and my program to the Spanish public.

Tengo una gira artística por España entre el 13 y el 31 de marzo. Voy a tocar en 10 ciudades, donde jamás he tocado antes (excepto Santander!), por eso he hecho este video letter por presentarme y mi programa al público español. (Lo siento por mi mala pronunciación!)

video

BGM: My playing of the Eritaña from the Iberia by Albéniz.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy 200th birthday, Chopin!

Hello. I'm sorry that I didn't update my blog more than a month.
I was in Paris last week to work with a couple of teachers and visit friends.

On the last day of my stay, I decided to visit the grave of Chopin in the Pere Lachaise cemetery before going to the last appointment prior to my departure. When I came out from the metro station, it had started raining. So I had to walk in the shower, along the rough stony paths to the grave, without an umbrella but with a suitcase, a backpack and another bag.

As I was approaching the Chopin's grave, the rain got even heavier, as if I was not welcome(!?).
There were some people around the grave, but they soon went away because of the heavy rain. Then I had the privilege to be alone in front of the grave for more than 10 minutes (well, without umbrella...) While my personal praying, the C-minor Nocturne Op.48-1 sounded on my mind, and it seemed to me a perfect situation to hear such profound and grievous music. After the last chord of C-minor followed the beginning of the F-minor Ballade Op.52, which starts calmly with a C-major chord. And then, the rain storm gradually abated... it was absolutely a miracle transition of music and nature!

Here are a couple of photos that I took:
(strangely it doesn't look like it was heavily raining!)


Anyway, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to my favorite Polish composer on his 200th anniversary.
Bon anniversaire et merci beaucoup pour votre grande contribution musicale au monde, Chopin!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New video clips of my performance on Youtube

PTNA (Japanese Piano Teachers National Association) has put some video clips from my recital at the Saitama Arts Theater on November 28th last year.

Here are the details and its links.
Bach/ Art of the Fugue -Contrapuncti 1,2
Bach/ Art of the Fugue -Contrapuncti 7,8,9
Scriabin/ 2 Poems Op.63
Scriabin/ 7th Sonata Op.64
Glinka=Balakirev/ Skylark
Balakirev/ Islamey

I hope you'll enjoy watching them!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

I wish you everyone a wonderful new year with peace, good health, happiness and prosperity!

I visited St.Petersburg between December 18th and 23rd (First time in Russia!), and spent the Christmas and New Year's Eve with some friends in snowy Berlin.

Now I'm working on the program of my first recital this year (Jan.9th in North Germany) which features the anniversary composers this year -Schumann (200th birth), Chopin (200th birth), Albeniz (150 birth), Balakirev (100 death) . I feel like celebrating those composers everyday by practicing their pieces!