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It is easy to tell that Hiromi Uehara is a hypersensitive pianist, aware of everything around her as she performs. During one concert, a cell phone rang, and she quickly played a chord based on the ring tone to smooth over the interruption — and lessen the embarrassment for the offender. What sparks her passionate musical style, however, is something only she can sense.

“I definitely see a lot of fiery red, that’s for sure,” the 28-year-old, known for her fast-paced, nearly frantic playing, says with a laugh. “It’s just my personality. When I’m really going for it, then I see that type of color.”

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