[nfb-talk] FW: Blind pianist wins 2009 Van Cliburn competition

qubit lauraeaves at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 2 18:00:30 UTC 2010

I like the part about doing other things to better appreciate and enjoy the 
music.  I think this can be true of any area of expertise.
Good article.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Powers, Terry (NIH/OD/DEAS) [E]" <Terry.Powers at nih.gov>
To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2010 12:28 PM
Subject: [nfb-talk] FW: Blind pianist wins 2009 Van Cliburn competition

From: Carlos Caban [mailto:cecaban at comcast.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2010 12:59 PM
To: Powers, Terry (NIH/OD/DEAS) [E]
Cc: Carlos Caban
Subject: Blind pianist wins 2009 Van Cliburn competition

Last night I watched a special on WETA about the 2009 piano competition 
named for Van Cliburn.... the most famous competition.
One of the two winners was a young blind pianist from Japan named NOBUYUKI 
TSUJII.  It was a great special!

Here is the website for his biography with the text below.



When Gold Medalist Nobuyuki Tsujii (pronounced No-boo-you-key Soo-gee) rose 
from the piano having completed his final performance at the Thirteenth Van 
Cliburn International Piano Competition, audience members leapt to their 
feet, and jurors were moved to tears by his passionate interpretation of 
Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11. The extraordinary and 
poignant performance by the young pianist from Japan and resulting audience 
fervor has taken on a momentum that Time Magazine coined "Nobu Fever."

Mr. Tsujii is in high demand by presenters and orchestras worldwide and has 
catapulted to rock star status in Japan. In the 2009-2010 season alone, he 
performed over 50 engagements throughout Asia, in addition to appearances at 
the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Aspen Music 
Festival and Academy in Colorado, Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany, and in 
recitals across the United States.

In the summer of 2010, Mr. Tsujii made an acclaimed debut at the Ravinia 
Festival, which the Chicago Tribune praised for "fearless technical 
assurance, accuracy and musicality...the rounded tone, suppleness of line 
and lyrical grace he brought." He followed this with an appearance at a gala 
event featuring all three medalists of the Thirteenth Van Cliburn 
International Piano Competition in concert with the National Orchestra of 
the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo and a residency at the Tuscan Sun 
Festival in Cortona, Italy.

Highlights of Mr. Tsujii's 2010-2011 season include appearances at the 
Mondavi Center and UCLA Performing Arts Center with the Takács Quartet and a 
tour of Japan with the BBC Philharmonic under the baton of Vladimir 
Spivakov. He will perform solo recitals in all regions of the United States 
during October and March, as well as in concert with the Edmonton, Hudson 
Valley, and Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestras. A European tour in the 
winter will take him to Belgrade, Berlin, Basel, Manchester, and Moscow.

In addition to his gold medal, Mr. Tsujii won the Beverley Taylor Smith 
Award for the Best Performance of a New Work for his interpretation of John 
Musto's Improvisation & Fugue, which he performs again as part of the 
Cliburn at the Modern series in Fort Worth in October 2010. His ability to 
learn and perform challenging scores was referenced by Scott Cantrell in his 
review for The Dallas Morning News: "It's almost beyond imagining that he 
has learned scores as formidable as Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto and 
Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata by ear...Through all three rounds, he 
played with unfailing assurance, and his unforced, utterly natural Chopin 
E-Minor Piano Concerto was an oasis of loveliness."

A documentary on his extraordinary achievement as the first-ever Gold 
Medalist from Japan in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was 
broadcast on NHK television throughout Japan. Peter Rosen's documentary of 
the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, A Surprise in 
Texas, features Mr. Tsujii prominently and was released to critical acclaim. 
The success of his debut recording, debut, on the Avex label led to a second 
recording of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Deutsches Symphonie 
Orchester Berlin. A third all-Chopin recording is soon to be released. The 
live recording of his appearance at the Cliburn Competition was released by 
harmonia mundi and named "Critic's Choice" by Japan's foremost recording 
magazine Record Geijutsu. His complete competition performances are 
available at Cliburn.tv.

Blind since birth, Nobuyuki, who is referred to as "Nobu," believes that 
"there are no barriers in the field of music." His philosophy was first 
affirmed at the age of 7 when he was named first-prize winner at the All 
Japan Blind Students Music Competition. At the age of 12, he made noted 
recital debuts at Tokyo's Suntory Hall and Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital 
Hall. Since then, he has appeared throughout the United States, Europe, 
Asia, and the Middle East and played with most of Japan's leading 
orchestras, as well as the Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, Slovak 
Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the Santa Fe 
Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. In 2005, at the age of 16, he was presented the 
Critic's Award at the Fifteenth International Frédéric Chopin Piano 
Competition in Poland.

Nobuyuki Tsujii is currently a participant in the performer's program at 
Ueno Gakuen University and has studied with Masahiro Kawakami, Yukio 
Yokoyama, and Kyoko Tabe.

Mr. Tsujii enjoys swimming, skiing, hiking, and communing with nature. When 
he met with 275 piano students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area following the 
competition, he advised them to "Please practice your best, but also please 
remember that you have to take the time to experience life to give your 
music meaning. I do things like mountain climbing, swimming, skiing, walking 
by the river. Whatever you like to do, this will help you enjoy your music 

For additional information, please contact: Alann B. Sampson Chairman and 
Executive Director pro tem Van Cliburn Foundation
2525 Ridgmar Boulevard, Suite 307 Fort Worth, Texas 76116 817.738.6536 (T) 
817.738-6534 (F) alanns at cliburn.org<mailto:alanns at cliburn.org>
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