Pianist Kenji Maeda Honors Tsunami Victims in Tokyo Performance

FestivalDC Covers Concert in Tokyo –

The renewable energy of the sun and the wind is the power that enables us to create a sustainable world. But the renewable energy that sustains our souls stems from such artists as Kenji Maeda who performed a masterful piano recital at the Tokyo Cultural Center “renewing” the spirits and energies of an appreciative audience.

Performing the Bach chorale “Schafe Konnen Sicher Weiden,” as arranged by one of the great pianists of the century Egon Petri, Mr. Maeda set the mood for an introspective interpretation of this famous piece “Sheep May Safely Graze” that was thoughtful and inspiring. Similarly, his performances of The Valses Poeticos of Enrique Granados, the “Litany” of Toru Takemitsu, and the “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jesus” of Olivier Messiaen all revealed Mr. Maeda’s eclectic and unique taste in music, making him a pianist that is imaginative in his programming.

In the second part of Mr. Maeda’s recital, the artist performed the four “Ballades” of Frederic Chopin. Much has been commented on these works as they are amongst the most popular pieces of Chopin as well as amongst the most performed pieces in the classical music repertoire throughout the world. 

As pianist John Ogden once commented about the Ballade No. 4, “It is amazing that the piece only lasts 12 minutes as it embodies the experience of a lifetime.” Indeed, Mr. Maeda possesses a wide and varied palette of vivid and subdued pianistic shadings and colors that lends itself to performing the Ballades in a magnificent and captivating manner.

The date of Maeda’s concert coincided with the anniversary of the March 11, 2011 tsunami that hit Japan. In his performance of “Salut d’Amour” by Sir Edward Elgar, the pianist evoked a passionate farewell to all those who lost their lives.

The recital was sponsored by the Kreitzer Memorial Association, Tokyo University of the Arts, Music Department Doseikai and the Pan Asian Association headed by Seijyu Kahou and Kazuo Yano.

Traveling from Virginia to attend the concert were Henry and Lisa Polgar, Executives from the Panamerican Panafrican Association (the PaPa) which administers one of its online publications, www.FestivalDC.com. The PaPa Executive Director, Henry Polgar, had the pleasure of presenting pianist Maeda with an award for his contributions to the arts and the art of piano performance.

The Polgars also had the pleasure of meeting pianist Masasanori Murakami, first prize winner of the 18th Concours des Grands Amateurs de Piano in Paris, France in April 2007. Murakami looks forward to attending the Washington International Piano Artists Competition next year.

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