/

Ludovit Kanta’s 20th year in Japan Memorial Concert

by Chiho Iuchi

Staff Writer

Slovakian cellist Ludovit Kanta plans to celebrate his 20th anniversary in Japan with a special concert in his adopted hometown of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Born in Bratislava, 53-year-old Kanta studied cello at Bratislava Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Then, after performing as principal cellist with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra for eight years, in 1990 he took that position — which he still holds — at the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (OEK), which was founded in 1988. Besides orchestral performances at the OEK, he has also performed solo recitals and at chamber-music concerts in both Japan and Slovakia.

Kanta’s 20th anniversary unfortunately coincided with the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. A friend and the Slovakian Ambassador in Tokyo suggested he conduct “musical relief supplies” from May 27-29 in cities in stricken Miyagi Prefecture, including Higashimatsushima, Onagawa, Ishinomaki and Sendai. So Kanta went to those cities and performed at refugee centers.

“I was happy that my performances pleased the people, who may have been depressed in the evacuation centers,” Kanta says of the experience.

This year’s concert will be larger in scale and feature two cello concertos, both by Czech composers. One will be Anton Dvorak’s renowned cello concerto, which Kanta says is “a Japanese favorite.” Another highlight will be the Japanese premiere of cello concerto No. 2 by Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959), which Kanta says is his favorite.

“Ludovit Kanta’s 20th year in Japan Memorial Concert” will take place at Ishikawa Ongakudo Concert Hall in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, on June 26 (3 p.m.; ¥2,000-¥5,000). For more information, call (076) 232-8632 or visit kanta-cello.com.