A star in the ascendant returns

Jun 15, 2007

A star in the ascendant returns

Since his first Tokyo performance in 1997 aged 13, Nikolai Tokarev has cemented his reputation as one of the most popular young international pianists in Japan by performing more than 100 concerts here. Moscow-born Tokarev will add to that impressive tally when his forthcoming ...

Losing his head on Rachmaninov

Jun 15, 2007

Losing his head on Rachmaninov

Russian piano virtuoso Boris Berezovsky is on the phone and he’s very excited, though not as excited as he should be when he plays the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo this summer. There, Berezovsky will be performing Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 3 in D minor ...

In step with nature, if not with celebrity

Jun 14, 2007

In step with nature, if not with celebrity

Renowned butoh dancer, award-winning actor, choreographer and agriculturist Min Tanaka has tried hard to escape international stardom. Tanaka, now aged 62, has spent the past two decades in the depths of the Yamanashi countryside, questioning the very thing that made him famous: “I don’t ...

War and peace

Jun 8, 2007

War and peace

No Japanese city outside of Tokyo holds as great a significance in global history as Hiroshima. A 15-minute tram ride from JR Hiroshima Station transports you from the lively bustle of the city to the calm of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. From the tram ...

Ingrid Fujiko Hemming

May 25, 2007

Ingrid Fujiko Hemming

The Super World Orchestra will unite section leaders from the Vienna, Berlin and Boston philharmonics with two of Japan’s most respected pianists, Takeshi Kakehashi and Ingrid Fujiko Hemming, in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Gunma next month. Kakehashi will play Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in ...

All twisted up in Thai massage

May 22, 2007

All twisted up in Thai massage

“It’s like doing yoga without the hard work,” enthused my trendy friend, whose paradoxical nature — she’s both lazy and obsessed with health — had led her to the latest popular massage to take Tokyo by storm: the traditional Thai massage. It sounded ideal ...

May 18, 2007

Yasuaki Shimizu & Saxophonettes "PENTATONICA"

Combining the five-note pentatonic scale — the basis of Asian and African music — with a love of Bach is like trying to mix oil with water. But that’s what saxophonist Yasuaki Shimizu does on his latest album, “PENTATONICA.” Though such bold experimentalism is ...

In thrall to a craggy coast

May 18, 2007

In thrall to a craggy coast

Hopping on the train at Tokyo Station after the morning rush hour still gets you to south Izu for lunch. So, with a promise of stunning views of the sea and more fresh fish sashimi than you could throw a wasabi tube at, we ...

Germany's last gentleman

May 18, 2007

Germany's last gentleman

German baritone Max Raabe will perform an alluring mix of Weimar-era cabaret songs and modern-day pop in Tokyo on May 25 and in Osaka the following day, accompanied by his Palast Orchester. Famous in Europe for his performances of mainly German music from the ...