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Classical music has always been a big part of Ikuo Nakajima’s life. He never became a professional trumpeter, opting instead to become a managing engineer, but that hasn’t stopped him from performing.

“There’s an excitement that only an amateur orchestra can create,” says the 58-year-old, who was one of the founding members of the Japan Gustav Mahler Orchestra (JMO), comprised of nonprofessional musicians. “The flawless performance of a professional orchestra is just too safe. Actually I find it a bit dispassionate and boring.”

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