Music stars from 11 countries across Asia wowed fans on Nov. 19 with stunning and heartfelt performances at the ABU TV Song Festival at NHK Hall in Tokyo.
Artists representing 11 countries and regions delighted attendees at NHK Hall for two-and-a-half hours.
The concert was held in conjunction with NHK hosting of the General Assembly of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, a regional federation of broadcasting organizations with over 270 members.
“Asia has lots of power and energy, so Asian music also has power and lots of energy,” said Joe Hisaishi, a prolific Japanese composer of soundtracks for directors Hayao Miyazaki and Takeshi Kitano, to the audience.
Performances ranged from Vietnamese singer Hoang Thuy Linh’s mix of traditional and modern to love ballads and emotional works by others. Hong Kong singer Kay Tse, dressed in black, sang “Reposing Beside You” in front of a glittering image evoking her city’s iconic skyline.
Crowd favorites included Japanese boy band Hey! Say! Jump and South Korean girl group Twice. The latter sang and danced to “Feel Special” and drew in the night’s loudest screams of joy.
India’s A.R. Rahman, the Oscar-winning composer for the 2008 movie “Slum Dog Millionaire,” performed “Mausam & Escape” and “Jai Ho” from the film with himself on piano and vocals, two female singers and a 20-strong back-up chorus. Instruments included strings, the Indian sitar and Japanese taiko drums, koto and shamisen.
Hisaishi closed out the night conducting the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in a rendition of “My Neighbor Totoro” from the eponymous Miyazaki film.
NHK plans to broadcast the event on Dec. 28 from 11 p.m. on NHK General for domestic audiences, and in two parts on NHK World for international audiences on Dec. 30 and 31, both from 8:10 a.m.
For more information on the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, see www.abu.org.my .