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Yoshiko Shimizu, pianist

Yoshiko Shimizu, Pianist




Born in Ota City, Gunma Prefecture. Graduated from Toho Gakuen University, Faculty of Music. Studied piano under Yuko Ninomiya. While attending university, he encountered the first volume of George Crumb's Macrocosmos and was impressed. After graduating from university, he entered the Eastman School of Music in New York, USA as a Rotary Foundation Scholar. At the same school, he studied under David Burge, one of America's leading contemporary pianists (he was a friend of Crumb and to whom the first volume of Macrocosmos was dedicated). Completed master's program at Eastman School of Music.


The main pieces I have performed as a solo pianist and a member of the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble are A. Schindler's "Take Me Out", J. Schwandner's "Amber Music", P. Hindemith "Chamber Music No. 1", K. Lendwei "Small Concerto for Piano, Flute, Percussion and Harp", H. Hansson "Symphony of the Sea" (celesta), J. Hudson "For Piano and Tape" J. Walker "Spatial Variations for Piano", C. Curtis Smith "Rhapsody", A. Silsbee "The Doors", L. Kirshner "Piano Sonata", E. Carter "Cello and Piano Variations" "Sonata for Piano", T. Adorno "Three Piano Pieces", "P.K.B. Suite for Children", "Three Short Pieces", M. Levinas "Three Etudes for Piano", H. Cowell "Banshee" " "Aeolian Harp", J. Cage "Sonata and Interlude", D. Burge "Pinging", "Voyant", "Folk Song" (from "24 Preludes") "Homeland", Yoshio Hachimura His works cover a wide range of topics, including ``Improvisation for Piano,'' Satoshi Tanaka's ``Afterworld,'' ``Grisaille,'' and ``Oracle.''



​by Yoshiko Shimizu

One day, as a university student, I stopped by the American Center in Tokyo. At the time, I was just starting to think about studying abroad, and my purpose was to gather information about American music schools. As soon as I entered the center, I noticed a cultural introduction corner near the lobby. When I got closer, I noticed that the area resembled a library, and the desk drawers were lined with cassette tapes containing works by American composers. I recognized some of the composer's and work titles written on the cassette, but I didn't recognize the title ``Macrocosmos I'' next to John Cage. Curious, I took out the cassette tape, inserted it into the nearby listening player, and listened with headphones to my ears.

The tape began with Japanese narration. “Macrocosmos I is a work by George Crumb, one of America's leading composers.The composer dedicated this piece to pianist David Burge, a leading figure in contemporary music performance in the United States. The tape is a recording of Mr. Burge's performance...

And then the music started.

There are seven chords, including pre-claps, ascending slowly and quietly in the bass. And the sound of a quiet glissando on the strings. Seven ascending chords again. What a mysterious and fascinating beginning. That's what I thought at the next moment. A shocking sound hit me! What was this? What was it made of? It was an overwhelming sound. The sound developed into a huge swell, and my body was quickly dragged into another world, into a dark, mysterious abyss.

As each song was played, more images emerged. The origin of the earth, darkness, gods, stars, silence, sweetness. It was like watching a space movie. When I finished listening to all 12 songs, my heart beat so fast that I couldn't leave the place for a while.

I was so captivated by Crumb's music that I ended up studying abroad with David Burge at the Eastman School of Music in New York, USA. Mr. Burge is not only Crumb's trusted performer of music, but also Crumb's closest friend. I was greatly influenced by Mr. Burge and decided to step into the world of crumbs.

I wonder how many years have passed since I first encountered Macrocosmos. But I remember that day like it was yesterday. The mysteriously powerful sound that changed my destiny still captures my heart.

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