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AN UNLIKELY LINEUP

Kita-Kyushu fest takes pop approach

by Mariko Kato

Running over the course of the next three weekends until Nov. 17, the 2006 Kita-Kyushu International Music Festival, inaugurated in 1988 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Kita-Kyushu City, showcases world-class concerts by artists from Japan and abroad.

The festival brings together top classical performers and music from genres rarely played in a classical setting, including songs from movie and video-game soundtracks and from the world of pop.

So while the “Vienna Serenade” concert program (Oct. 28) includes the ever-popular “Czardas” by Monti and Liszt’s “Hungarian Dances,” also among the selections is the “Harry Lime Theme” from Orson Welles’ 1949 movie classic “The Third Man.”

On Nov. 10, the Tokyo Metropolitan Brass Quintet will perform a mixture of brass quintet music and other arrangements. Guesting is composer Koichi Sugiyama, known for his score for the video-game series “Dragon Quest.”

On Nov. 12, the pianist Makoto Ozone will be joined by Satoru Shionotani, a celebrated jazz pianist and composer who has written for contemporary pop artists such as Misia and Ken Hirai. Shionotani will perform Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos with Ozone.

The festival concludes with a Dmitri Shostakovich concert in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth, given by the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Nov. 17).

Concerts will be held at various venues in the city, including Hibiji Hall, Kita-Kyushu Geijutsu Gekijo and Kyushu Kosei Nenkin Kaikan. For details, call (093) 663-6567 (prices vary) or visit www.kimfes.com