Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years after...

Today is the 10th anniversary since the September 11th attacks, and I would like to express my sincere sympathy for the victims of the tragedy with the following performance.

At that time I didn't have many friends in New York nor even in the USA, but the terrible images shown on TV broke my heart and frightened me for many days. I still remember clearly that time, because it was a week after I started living in Paris.

I had just turned 19 and was totally inexperienced and ignorant in terms of "living alone" in addition to not being fluent in French, but I had to find an apartment, open a bank account, get a visa, register at the Conservatoire, all by myself. As I had so many difficulties in everything, I thought my life was going to collapse at some point!

Actually, before I left Japan, my father had told me the following:
"if you can't achieve any success on your piano within the next two years, you will have to give up your dream to be a professional pianist and come back to Japan to study something else!"

I don't think I gave a clear answer to it, because I really didn't want to give up my dream, but I often remembered his words in my head, so I forced myself to go forward whatever the problems were and gave all my energy to studying the music and absorbing all that I learned and experienced in my new surroundings.

And at the end of the "two years", I went to the Cleveland Competition -it was my second experience of entering in a big international piano competition- and I won the 1st my great surprise!

Suddenly my life changed completely and I started a concert career, remaining a student at the Paris Conservatoire. I confronted some difficulties at the beginning (frequent traveling, different manners and conditions of concert organisation, the vast repertoire I had to learn, concert reviews, etc), but the beautiful encounters and the emotional moments that I had in each place became my good fortune and encouraged me a lot.

When I think of these last 10 years, I can't help but feel very lucky and happy, and say how grateful I am to all people who have supported me and inspired me.

I will keep giving my efforts to make beautiful and magical moments with the music and going on my way with the motto
"一期一会(Ichi-go ichi-e)".

Thank you.
Kotaro Fukuma