Yesterday afternoon, I went to hear the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra at Suntory Hall. They played a program of Debussy and Ravel that was truely ethereal. The Finnish conductor, Pietari Inkinen, was unable to come because of his country’s warnings against radiation, but Hirokami Junichi, the current conductor of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, stepped in and created a magnificent performance, and as planned, Kosugi Yu was on piano for Ravel’s Piano Concerto.
Of the three times I’ve heard the Japan Philharmonic, this was definitely the best. Their technical skill set off the deep, emotional waves of sound into full expression, a balance they were not quite able to achieve with Haydn a year or so ago. This time is was like entering a transient dream.
At the end of the performance, they announced the program they have started that sends musicians to the evacuation shelters in Tohoku. The sincerity of their effort moved me to tears. . .
(Video of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Namie, Fukushima, from their blog.)