Blind Japan pianist debuts at Carnegie

Kyodo

A blind Japanese pianist made his U.S. debut in a recital at Carnegie Hall here on Sunday.

Performing in front of an audience of about 3,000, 25-year-old Takeshi Kakehashi played works by Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven, including a powerful performance of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23, the “Appassionata,” which elicited a standing ovation.

Several members of the audience voiced wonder at Kakehashi’s performance, with some saying it had given them courage.

In 1998, Kakehashi claimed second prize in the piano division of the prestigious Long-Thibaud international music contest, named after French pianist Marguerite Long and violinist Jacques Thibaud.

Based in Austria, Kakehashi has performed at a wide range of venues both at home and abroad.

Born in Tokyo, Kakehashi went blind soon after birth. Both his parents are musicians.