Regular Feature

Greetings from the Outskirts of Kyoto vol.29

INOUE Shōichi (Director-General)
February 27, 2023

In October of 2022, Nichibunken hosted an event called “Japonism By Ear.” In 19th century Europe, a lot of music was composed with Japanese themes. Much of this was in the form of songs, piano pieces, and various other sorts of chamber music. At Nichibunken, we have expanded our collection of these musical scores in recent years. For the event, we had music majors from the Kyoto City University of Arts perform some of it for an audience.

The venue was the hall of the Kyoto Horikawa Senior High School of Music. There was a Steinway on stage. For me, who began to play the piano at the age of 41, such an instrument is an object of great envy. After the performance was over, I turned my gaze timidly towards it. Mitsuhira Yūki, the brain behind the event, must have read my thoughts, and was good enough to encourage me. Why not have a go? She said.

Emboldened by her words, I sat at the piano. The hall was now empty of guests, and for a while I fooled about on the Steinway. When I finished, the music students, returning to the stage from the dressing room, applauded me. I was pleased. Indeed, that may have been my most fulfilling moment in recent years.

It seems that I imposed upon not only Mitsuhira-san but also the music majors. I would like to express my gratitude to them, and to the Kyoto City University of Arts.