Irina Mejoueva

Sep 18, 2009

Irina Mejoueva

Irina Mejoueva, a Japan-based Russian pianist, always appears on stage with scores — but not because she can’t memorize the pieces she performs. “I am a performer. Since I am not a composer, the piece exists only in the score,” she remarks with a ...

La Scala tour showcases Milan's finest

Sep 11, 2009

La Scala tour showcases Milan's finest

La Scala is currently on its sixth Japan tour through Sept. 17. Inaugurated in 1778, Milan’s La Scala opera house has been a legend in the opera world. Since its first visit to Japan in 1981, La Scala’s performances have fascinated opera fans, leading ...

Musical Renaissance man brings us his world

Sep 4, 2009

Musical Renaissance man brings us his world

Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti will return to Japan this month. Born in 1947 to a family of musicians in Rio de Janeiro, Gismonti started learning piano, flute, clarinet and music theory at age 6. He began playing guitar at age 10. After 15 years ...

Japan premier of Sibelius' 'Tempest' to play in entirety

Aug 28, 2009

Japan premier of Sibelius' 'Tempest' to play in entirety

Among the events being held to mark the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Finland, a standout is the first performance in its entirety here of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ music to Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest.” Sibelius (1865-1957) created seven symphonies, as ...

A coffee, not tea, ceremony

Aug 14, 2009

A coffee, not tea, ceremony

A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony will delight visitors to the MOA Museum of Art in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, Aug. 22-23. As the country in which coffee plants originated and were first cultivated, Ethiopia boasts a sophisticated culture of coffee ceremony. The ceremony is practiced ...

Brazilian Bach performed in rare entirety

Aug 7, 2009

Brazilian Bach performed in rare entirety

A concert featuring “Bachianas Brasileiras” (Brazilian Bach pieces) by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos takes place at Tokyo Opera City in Hatsudai on Aug. 22. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Villa-Lobos was taught to play instruments by his father and he taught himself composition. In ...

Feast on fine Italian opera in a Tokyo restaurant

Jul 17, 2009

Feast on fine Italian opera in a Tokyo restaurant

Italy-based Japanese opera singer Hiroki Watanabe will perform at a dinner show titled “La Voce di Firenze” at an Italian restaurant in Tokyo’s central Hiroo district on the evenings of Aug. 6 and 7. Born in 1971 in Oita Prefecture, Watanabe studied vocal music ...

The first 'Japanese' opera?

Jun 12, 2009

The first 'Japanese' opera?

Kabuki actor and designated Living National Treasure Sakata Tojuro (b. 1931) stages an opera, for the first time in his career, this month at the New National Theatre. “At first, I politely refused the commission, as opera is a closed book to me,” says ...

Jun 5, 2009

Famed Bolshoi returns to Japan

The Bolshoi Opera will come back to Japan in June for the first time in 14 years. The Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, which originated in 1776 and whose current building was completed in 1825, holds some of the most respected performances of ballet and ...

Classical music lovers get set for Matsumoto

May 29, 2009

Classical music lovers get set for Matsumoto

“Sending out high-quality Western classical music from Japan” was the goal for renowned cellist and conductor Hideo Saito (1902-74), who studied in Germany. In 1955, he cofounded the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, where he devoted the latter half of his life ...