English Blog

Berliner Philharmoniker Concert in LA 11/27/09

November 28, 2009

I went to listen their concert in LA on Tuesday 24. It was the second night of their 2 concerts in LA. It was just amazing, the energy, great sound, fantastic individual playing, wonderful ensemble-. I could tell that everyone in the Disney Hall was listening deeply. The audience was so quiet. I did not hear the coughing and paper noise at all!  Berliner captured us!

The program was Schoenberg/Chamber Symphony No. 1 Op. 9, Brahms/Symphony No. 2, and Wagner/Meistersinger Prelude. Each player seemed playing like solo. Everybody was playing their best of best. The sound was clear and full. And it was great to feel the great relationship between Sir Rattle and musicians. I am sure most of musicians are related to those 3 composers on the concert through their teachers and family. It is a tradition! It is a proud!

I saw many musician friends in the audience and we were so excited to talk about their music making. Berliner filled the Disney Concert Hall with their amazing music. It is still ringing in my ears.

J.S.Bach Cantata No.106 11/14/09

November 14, 2009

I had a chance to hear this powerful cantata at our church few weeks ago. The performance was fantastic in both instruments and vocals. It was 1st time for me to hear this cantata, and was deeply moved. It is obvious that this piece was written for the funeral, possible for his uncle? The music is beautiful, and especially the text is really deep and hopeful. I chatted with some people in the audience after the performance, and we agreed that we would like to have this music to be played at our funeral. I am not expert of copyright, but I think it should be OK to introduce this text in English below. I think it is hopeful to everyone.

God’s time is the very best time.
In him we live , move and are, so long as he wills.
In him we die at the right time, when he wills.

Ah Lord, teach us to think
that we must die
so that we become wise.

Put your house in order
for you will die
and not remain living.

It is the old covenant:
Man, you must die.

Yes, come, lord Jesus. come!

Into your hands I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, Lord, you faithful God.

Today you will be with me in paradise.
With peace and joy I travel there
in God’s will,
my heart and mind are confident,
peaceful and calm.
As God has promised me:
death has become my sleep

Glory, praise, honour and majesty
be given to you God father and son,
to the holy spirit by name!
God’s strength
make us victorious
through Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Concert by Lang Lang 11/09/09

November 9, 2009

I went to Lang Lang’s concert last night at the Disney Concert Hall. I heard him playing several years ago, and that concert was almost “fingers from hell”  program. He was pretty good with that kind of repertoire. I was impressed by the machine like playing !! Even I bought the music of Tan Dun’s Eight Memories in Watercolor after the concert because I thought that was so beautiful.

So last night concert consisted different repertoire, 2 Beethoven sonatas, Albeniz-Iberia, Prokofiev-No.7 Sonata. His great advantage from the last concert did not work with those pieces. Actually it went the other way, I think–. It was beyond interesting interpretation! His uniqueness continued throughout the concert. For instance in Beethoven Op. 2 #3 the moment supposed to be crystal clean turned into massive pedal playing. So it became just loud effect. Meaningless accents everywhere, constant loud tapping the floor, over action which made us laugh—-.  Also I was wondering about his right hand–?? Has he injured his right hand?? Because he voiced the left hand so often for no reason, and it seemed to cover the right hand weakness. And finally he played Chopin Etude Op25 #1 for encore, and again he played his left hand so loudly?? I am hoping his hands are OK.

During the concert I noticed so much noise from the audience, and unfortunately the audience stop clapping right after he disappeared in the backstage after the first half. But he came back to the stage anyway! I think it means that his music could not hold the audience. Mr. Lang is a very talented pianist so I hope he will find the way to deliver the music to us. And in case his hands are not well, please take care carefully.

A Journalist Steve Lopez 11/8/09

November 9, 2009

Steve Lopez came to Occidental College last week to be a speaker. Of course I am a big fan of his articles on LA Times so I went! He spoke mainly about his book, “Soloist”, the story of a homeless/mental illness musician who attended Julliard School of Music when he was young. Mr. Lopez’s curious eyes did not miss Nataniel Ayers who was playing his half broken violin front of Beethoven statue in downtown LA. The story started that moment and grew into relationship between 2 men. I have heard this story from my husband who plays in LA Philharmonic and those 2 men got connected to LA Phil closely later.

He is a great story teller! I enjoyed every moment in his speech last week, and I look forward to reading his articles on the paper. I can’t start my day without opening the paper and smell the ink! Congratulations, Mr. Lopez!

A Movie-Coco before Chanel 10/17/09

October 17, 2009

I have been interested in seeing this movie, and I was so glad to have time to go to the theatre today. I have read about her interesting personality, and I was curious to learn more. This is a French movie, and I love to hear French language. It is beautiful! Through the movie her strong and independent, but very charming personality was the theme.  She created her own style against the big dress & hat  ladies. The movie showed the rural area of French, and it reminded me the time I stayed in a rural part of France about 10 years ago. With my stressful Japanese blood and few years of life experience in America it looked entirely different to me. The way French people spent time, the way they discuss, the way they eat—.  It was so interesting to me! I wish I have another opportunity to go back there.

The movie finished with her big success in Paris. I enjoyed following her thinking, and seeing the beautiful countryside in France.

Murray Perahia Concert in LA 10/15/09

October 17, 2009

I went to Perahia’s Concert last Tuesday at Disney Concert Hall. His repertoire was Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin. His playing was very refined and thoughtful. In his Schumann “Kinderszenen” I heard his interesting imagination. Each piece has own title, and he showed us his imaginative pictures according to the titles. Chopin Mazurkas were my favorite of that night.  He was having a great fun! I heard that Perahia had some hands problem few years ago. I hope he will be able to continue performing. It was a wonderful concert!

My Love of Food and Cooking 10/12/09

October 13, 2009

I have been always interested in food. One of my college friends from Toho Conservatory in Tokyo, who is a trombone player, told us one night that each dinner is very important because we will eat only about 25,000 dinners more for the rest of our lives. We were 20 years old, and that was his estimate. I thought “Oh My Gosh!! That sounds so few occasions–” (of course I though in Japanese!!) . I have had some undesirable food, but occasionally I have reminded myself about his wisdom! (more…)

新総理の「友愛の国」の将来ーー 10/13/09

October 13, 2009

9月の日本での様々な経験については、折を見て触れて来ました。新政府の出発進行も、ちょこっとながら、経験。国民の熱い期待と、厳しい目をひしひしと感じました。新総理が、選挙前より掲げていた「友愛」の心について、感じた事があったので今日は一言。

東京では相変わらず、セカセカと、周りの事に気を配る余裕もなく、そしてお疲れが顔に滲み出ている方達を沢山見ました。蒲田の駅で、駅員さんにどの電車に乗れば良いか聞いたところ、親切に教えて下さったのですが、その電車が各駅で、更に定刻より2分遅れという事をおっしゃった時に、この世の終わりのような感じで謝られてびっくりしました。そんな事大した事ないのに、きっと皆さんセカセカが板について、こういう事でも駅員さんを叱ったりするのかなあー。別の駅で、主人のデイビッドが、女性が階段を大きな荷物を持って苦労して上っているのを見て、手伝おうとしたら、仰天され恐ろしいものでも見る形相。それでも、真意が分かった後は、とても感謝されていましたがーー。数年前に、私が女性の同じ立場だった時には、もちろん誰も声をかけてくれませんでしたけどね!別の日に、国内線の飛行機の中で、降りる際に、席から通路に出ようとして誰も出してあげなくとまどっている女性がいて、私が「どうぞ」と言ったら、何が起きたか分からない!という感じで、深く深くお辞儀をして、感謝されてしまいました。又、あるスーパーでのレジで。前にいらした中高年の男性が、マスクをしている店員さんを叱り、かつビニール袋のサイズが小さい事を叱り、カリカリ。毎日の暮らしが、きっと大変なのだなあと、思いました。

街中では、奇妙なマニュアルしゃべりが溢れ、一見すると丁寧なようだけど、慣れてないと私なんかとても変な気分。デパートでも、コンビ二でも、飛行機の中でも、もうありとあらゆる場所での現象ですね。もうちょっと普通に自分流の話し方をしたら良いのになあーー。っという訳で、表面のマニュアル礼儀に惑わされて、根本の人間のマナーが失われていると思いますけど、皆様どう思われますか。そして小さな日常の気持ちの持ち方が、一番大事だと思います。そういうゆとりを持てる様な国。庶民には、大それたスローガンは必要ないんです。

Dudamel Celebration Concert in LA 10/4/09

October 4, 2009

I went to the LA Phil’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl yesterday. It was a celebration concert titled “Bienvenido Gustavo!” Of course this sensational new young conductor, Dudamel, was the center of attention!! I did not go from the beginning of the show. I attended only the 7pm portion, which featured the speeches, the videos, and the Beethoven’s 9th symphony with big fireworks! It was a fantastic show to celebrate Dudamel, and a wonderful community event to bridge between Spanish speaking community and the others.

I am very excited that Dudamel will be a music director of LA Phil for next 5 years (I hope it will be longer), and Dudamel is super talented, wonderful, caring, smart, charming, sensitive, and etc –. I hope he won’t get tired being in this Hollywood attention—, but He handed this show very well! He is Fantastic!

I was wondering about the balance of the ethnic background in YOLA, Youth Orchestra in LA, which performed prior to the LA Phil’s performance. It was very nice to see the young children playing together even though they only started to play those instruments 2 years ago! Dudamel is a Venezuelan, and he is a hero in LA Hispanic community. He spoke to the audience in Spanish (I was proud of  me that I understood it!).  As a Japanese citizen myself I wanted to see more diversity in the players because I see mainly Hispanic children in this youth orchestra. I am sure there are many children in other background need the similar opportunities. We have huge communities of Armenians, Filipinos, Koreans, Japanese— in LA. When we are united all together it really goes with the text of the last movement in the 9th symphony!  I hope they will form this youth orchestra little bit differently in future.

Again I am very much looking forward to hearing Dudamel with LA Phil for many more years.

Congratulations, Everybody!!

Lives in Japan 9/29/09

September 29, 2009

I came back from our Japan tour last weekend! Japan was in nice fall weather, and I fully enjoyed feeling it!  I had a great time, performing 5 concerts, seeing my childhood friends (all girls club! My husband is a special member in this club.) and family, eating GOOD food, drinking, visiting Sumo for 2 days, and Kabuki Theatre in Ginza–. I love going back to Japan even though I love living in LA.  This tour was partially granted by the State Department so the concert program was focused on American Music. It is so fortunate to get this opportunity to share my love of American Music with Japanese audience. I chose to record all American Music for my first CD about ten years ago, and since then I have been playing all kinds of American Music. Please see the fun photos in the Photo Gallery in this homepage.

I got my bachelor of music degree at the Toho Conservatory in Tokyo, then masters and doctorate in USA. I love Japan and America equally. I have been getting lot of opportunity in music and meeting wonderful people in US,  and I like relaxing lives here compare to Japanese stressful attitude. Since Japan is a closed society in a small island the lives are often not easy. But we offer deep culture and sensitivity. Until recent years we did not have many foreigners. So people expect others to be like everyone! It means we have to fit in the society. This is changing very slowly. But the society is often tight, and people like to do team-play activities which I miss in US.  And most importantly I love the food in Japan. I prepare Japanese food at my home in LA for most of days, brown rice, and lot of fish dishes and vegetables. And Japanese people have great passion for food!

I hope to continue living in US and visiting Japan occasionally. I think I am truly Japanese no matter how long I live in US.