Everyone stopped to listen to the violin music flowing slowly through the forest.
The violin performance on the afternoon of October 8 took place in the courtyard in front of the main entrance of Tokyo Medical University’s Hachioji Medical Center in Takao, Hachioji City, Tokyo. It was as hot as the middle of summer, but the low humidity and clear blue sky blended with the surrounding green trees to create a nice atmosphere.
The center, located in a forest about seven minutes by bus from Takao Station, has been in operation for more than 40 years and is the main hospital in the region with about 1,000 medical personnel, including those hospitalized for the new corona.
“Last year, I was the only one to perform at the medical center, and it was broadcasted on Nippon Television Network Corporation’s “news every.
That’s what Yukako Furudate, a leading gypsy violinist who also performed that day, told me. Yukako Furudate, a leading gypsy violinist who also performed that day, studied in Budapest, Hungary, and has since won awards at competitions in Japan and abroad.
She had been performing regularly on the stage of the famous Lion Beer Hall in Ginza for more than 20 years, but the hall was closed last March, and her own concerts were all cancelled due to the Corona disaster.
“My income has been cut off, and I and my musician friends are all in trouble.
Ms. Furudate has been working part-time as a telephone interpreter to make ends meet.
“So I consulted with Chiaki Watanabe, a TV producer, and we decided to form a unit of three violinists and raise money through crowdfunding. Now we are finally ready to perform in front of you.”
After about two months of setting up, the three of us decided to perform as a unit….
The other two members of the group studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, France at the public expense from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and graduated at the top of their class. Miyoko Sato had been active as a soloist in Europe and Japan.
Due to a number of misfortunes in her personal life, her opportunities to perform on the big stage have diminished, but she has never given up on the violin and has continued her activities.
Another famous violinist with cerebral palsy is Krystal Shikimachi, who performed two pieces including Louis Armstrong’s famous “This Wonderful World” at the closing ceremony of the recent Tokyo Paralympics.
He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three, and started playing violin at the age of four to rehabilitate his limbs. In elementary school, he attended a special needs school and a school for the blind, but from the fifth grade, he attended a regular school in a wheelchair, but was severely bullied. However, she never lost because of her violin.
At the age of eight, she began to study under world-renowned violinist Kimiko Nakazawa, and from the age of ten, she studied under Toshihiro Nakanishi, a leading pop violinist. Her career as a violinist progressed steadily, and in ’18, she made her major label debut with King Records. Her journey to her major label debut, undaunted by bullying and difficulties, has even been made into a manga titled “Krystal no Hibiki” (The Sound of Crystal), published by Kodansha.
Except for Mr. Furudate, who had performed the previous year, this was the first time for the three of them to perform in front of an audience outdoors at a hospital, and they named their unit “Muse,” taking one letter from each of their names, “Miyusui.
“The day before, I was very nervous and nervous. But once I started playing, I was able to calm down and had fun. It was the first time for me to play outdoors, and it was wonderful to feel the melody slipping through the trees.
It was nice to see the smiles on the faces of the hospital staff, and it was also nice to see the patients in wheelchairs come to the door and turn their ears to us.
Miyoko Sato, the most seasoned of the three and approaching 80 years of age, also had a smile on her face.
Miyoko Sato, the most experienced of the three, who is now 80 years old, also smiled, “I have lived in Europe and have performed in France and Italy, but this was my first time performing outdoors, so I was very nervous. I was very nervous, but I’m glad to see how happy everyone was.
These performances will be streamed online via crowdfunding.
“Although the state of emergency has finally ended, I am worried that the hardships of the medical staff will continue. There are only a limited number of hospitals that can provide this kind of performance, so we will accept as many requests as we can, and of course it’s free, so please apply. The next one will be held soon at the Fujimino Emergency Hospital in Miyoshi-machi, Saitama Prefecture.
Mr. Watanabe, the producer of the event, expressed his satisfaction. A live performance is always a good thing.
Interview, writing, photography： Takashi Yoshida (Journalist)