Celebrated Japanese pianist Harumi Hanafusa will make her long-awaited American debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on January 15. Known for her kaleidoscopic repertoire including classic, romantic and modern works, this one-night only concert presented by Robin Radin Productions features the world premiere of a major new work for piano by the leading Japanese composer, Toshi Ichiyanagi. Furthermore, Hanafusa will focus on works by French composers, including Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and La Valse; and Debussy’s Images I and II.
Over the past 30 years, Hanafusa has gained tremendous recognition as a pianist and soloist with numerous symphony and chamber orchestras such as Goteborg Symphony in Sweden, Orchestra Lamoureux in France, Franz List Chamber Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Sextet, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra of Osaka in Japan. Her piano concertos of Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Tchaikovsky are widely known and she is recognized as one of the best performers of French music. Described as “trifling audiences with her extravagant performances,” her style of play is “fashionable and free, sometimes romantic or coquettish.”
Highlighting the evening’s program is a new piano sonata by one of the leading composers in Japan, Toshi Ichiyanagi. He studied composition under Cage while studying at New York’s Juilliard Conservatory in the late 1950s. After returning to Japan in 1961, he introduced many new musical concepts, including Cage's idea of indeterminacy, exerting a strong influence on the direction of Japanese contemporary music ever since.
Hanafusa has been a major figure in the piano world of Japan, performing regularly as a soloist with Japan's major orchestras, including the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic, and in frequent recital and chamber music concerts. Her London recitals and concerto performances, which were broadcast by the BBC in 1993, opened the door for regular appearances in Europe, as well. With her sister Mami Hanafusa, she also performs in Japan as a member of The Hanafusa Sisters Piano Duo.© Japan Today