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Classical Festival Takes Precedence over Japanese Traditional Festival

This year, the art and music community celebrates the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birthday. Accordingly, 2010 LA FOLLE JOURNÉE au JAPON “Days of Enthusiasm” Classical Music Festival, held in Tokyo in the beginning of May for 5 successive years, gathered a vast number of listeners and music lovers.

The festival, housed by one of Tokyo’s most prestigious halls – the International Forum at Ginza, the central street of Tokyo, included performances by world-famous musicians, such as Ivo Pogorelić, Boris Berezovsky, and Ural Philharmonic orchestra.

The Chroatian pianist Ivo Pogorelić, a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, is known for his unconventionality. Pogorelić won the Casagrande Competition in Terni, Italy in 1978 and the Montreal International Music Competition in 1980. Following the death of his wife in 1996, he stopped performing for several years and has fully returned to the concert stage in 2007, after an 11-year timeout. The pianist Boris Berezovky, also a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, the winner of the Gold Medal at the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, delighted the audience with his superb performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 and music by Liszt. Many talented French and Japanese musicians performed at the festival as well.

Ivo Pogorelić is particularly noteworthy. His style of playing has changed considerably during the years of his creative interlude. Now shaven-headed, he played with such strained intensity – modifying tempos at will and transforming composers’ conception – that nobody could remain indifferent. His interpretations could be either rejected totally or they exalted the listeners, almost bringing them to ecstasy.

A gourmet festival featuring around-the-world cuisines was held in the vicinity the prestigious Forum, which incorporates several concert halls with excellent acoustics and grand pianos. During the balmy season, the Japanese like to eat traditional matsuri and enjoy classical music! In front of the tables, there was a large screen, where concert announcements and advertisements for Kajimoto Music, which is a well-known Japanese company and the festival’s organizer, as well as for АРТЕ, a French TV channel, were displayed.

Happy Birthday, Frederic Chopin! 200 years later, your music is still alive and treasured!

Natalia Yurkanova

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