To mark their 5th season, the 2020 Avex Recital Series will host four concerts by a new generation of leading Japanese artists. 2020 sees the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and 27 June will showcase Beethoven virtuoso, the highly-renowned blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. Other musicians in this year’s series are pianist Yu Kosuge (23 May), violinist Sayaka Shoji and pianist Víkingur Ólafsson (28th November), and pianist Mao Fujita (19 December).
2017 Suntory Music Award Winner Yu Kosuge who has had her playing praised in media across the globe will open the world-class series with the first concert that will take place on Saturday 23rd May. With her superlative technique, sensitivity of touch and profound understanding of the music she plays, Yu continues to develop a distinguished international career as a concert pianist. The Washington Post wrote of her Chopin, Fleeting moments of crystalline textures and pastoral hues gave way to the bold, tempestuous waves that Kosuge created so naturally at the keyboard.
Yu has been giving recitals and performing with orchestras since the age of nine when she made her debut with the Tokyo New City Orchestra. Yu has appeared at leading venues in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Zurich, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Washington and New York. She also performs with leading European orchestras including NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, Berliner Sinfonie Orchester and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
For this recital Yu will present works by Louis-Claude Daquin, François Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau and Akira Nishimura. This will be followed by the powerful yet elegant Tempest (Piano Sonata Op. 31-2) from Beethoven before a fiery finale with excerpts from Stravinsky’s Firebird.
Yu commented: “I very much look forward to playing this recital in the wonderful Wigmore Hall presenting a diverse programme, which will take you on a journey, from baroque to contemporary, beginning with the voice of the cuckoo in the nature, through the world of Mandala in Buddhism to the fantastic tale of the Firebird. I’m also very happy to play Beethoven’s masterpiece of the middle period – the powerful, but mysterious, Sonata Op. 31-2, The Tempest. Every piece is full of fantasy and will spread the wings of imagination.”
June’s concert sees Nobuyuki Tsujii take to the stage. Described by The Observer as the definition of virtuosity, Nobu, who has been blind from birth, won the joint Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009 and has gone on to earn an international reputation for the passion and excitement he brings to his live performances.
Full details about the further concerts will be issued later in the year.
Avex seek to showcase the incredible classical talents coming out of Japan and how these artists strive to be leading figures in the industry. The astounding breadth of talent highlighted in their 2020 series shows the incredible connections and collaborations being made by this pioneer in classical entertainment.
Hiroyuki Nakashima, President at Avex Classics International, comments, Avex Classics International is committed to nurturing the best young musical talent and giving them an international platform. From intimate recitals to huge multimedia presentations, we engage audiences of all ages and nationalities with the unique power of music. Celebrating its fifth season this year, we are honoured to present four recitals with four of the most sought-after artists in Japan who are forerunners in their respective fields.
Avex Recital Series will host four concerts at Wigmore Hall between 23rd May and 19th December.