December 24, 2010
I hope all of you are spending a wonderful time this Christmas holiday! I have recently wrapped up the nineteen stop tour of Japan with solo cellist Mischa Maisky and the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Japan is an island nation that stretches far latitudinally, so I was able to enjoy the snow in the North, spring like warmth in the South, and the colorful seasonal scenery in between.
Just the other day, I conducted the Beethoven's Symphony No.9 at "Nippon Budokan". This is a venue built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic to host martial arts events that can fit over 10,000 people. The chorus was composed of people from all over Japan, and there were roughly 6,000 people singing in the choir. I was a little concerned about the timing with so many participants, but the power of music overcame such hurdle. It turned out wonderful!!!
My last performance of the year will be the Silvester Concert. This will be performed at a kabuki hall in Kyoto, which is hosting a classic concert for the first time in its venue history. I will be using the hall’s unique architecture to perform a scene from opera Madama Butterfly amongst others.
I hope to continue conducting concerts and operas using new ideas and approaches next year.
Merry Christmas, everyone! And I wish you all the very best for the upcoming New Year!
November 7, 2010
I have always thought of English as the last language I would ever need to study.
Hence, I faced a big obstacle of communicating in the language that I was unfamiliar with. Thank you, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, for working through the language barrier with me and "feeling" what I was trying to tell you! I was very ecstatic to when I was told, "Come back again, soon!" Except when I do, I would definitely have had studied English a little more, just as I was subtly reminded to do so by my host.
And another thanks to the person who brought me beautiful flowers and told me that they became my "Newest Fan".
As a musician, I cherish my experiences of each and everyday.
Next, I will conduct at New York City’s Carnegie Hall where Tchaikovsky conducted the opening performance many years ago. What an honor it is!