Special Exchange Program with Ms Martha Argerich and the Higashiyama Elementary School Orchestral Club

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     November 15, 2000 was a memorable day for students of the Higashiyama Elementary School, a public school in Meguro, Tokyo. That afternoon, students gathered in the gym to witness the joint concert by Martha Argerich and Violinist Ivry Gitlis.@It was a small concert but inspiring for boys and girls. The event was part of a project aimed at providing youngsters with opportunities to observe world-class artists so that they may elevate their sense of appreciation for good and beautiful things in life, such elements believed to eliminate youthsfinvolvement in wrongdoings and even crime.@After the concert, Ms Argerich promised to return to the school after she found out that they indeed had a school orchestra. That promise became a reality the night of July 23, 2002. The gym without air-conditioning was steaming with heat. The Higashiyama Elementary School Orchestra and the Higashiyama Special Orchestra, primarily consisting of graduates of the same school came together to perform. Conducting was Mr. Chikara Iwamura, then the Assistant Conductor of NHK Symphony Orchestra. He had received praise from Ms Argerich when they performed together at the Beppu Argerich Festival in 2001. This video records the events of that evening.

     Ms Argerich and Mr. Iwamura were greeted with the theme from Radetzky March, followed by Farandole@from Bizet L'Arlesienne Suite No.2, and 1st. movement from Beethoven Symphony No.5 conducted by Ms Norie Nagasue of the Orchestra Club. (It is interesting to note that Myong-Whun Chung also conducted the same number here in June of the same year. The performance was televised on NHK.) Mr. Iwamura went on to conduct Beethovenfs Piano Concerto the first movement with Ms Argerich on the piano. Mr. Iwamura proceeded to perform with the orchestra delving deeper into the music. When they performed the first movement for the second time that evening, the audience was totally captivated. Responding to the applause of the audience the performance went on to play Von fremden Ländern und Menschen from Schumann Kinderszenen, Op.15, and Ms Argerichfs favorite D. Scarlattii Sonata in D minor, K.141=L.422. The concert came to the climax and closing with the orchestra playing and singing with the audience the school song of Higashiyama sung on the tune of Sibelius Finlandia to bid farewell to Ms Argerich and Mr. Iwamura. Ms Argerich expressed her wish to play the third movement also, but they decided to keep the number until the next opportunity, which became a reality the fall of 2003 when they performed the whole number.

     It should also be noted that on August 7, 2002, the footage of this event was broadcasted on NHKfs TV program gStudio Parkh. That event is also recorded here.

 

                          Recording Date:  23 July, 2002 (live)

                        Recording Place:  The gymnasium in the Higashiyama Elementary School, Tokyo

                                  Producer:  Shoji Sato (Kajimoto Concert Management Co., Ltd.)

                              ProductionHigashiyama Elementary School (Principal: Kenichi Shimizu)

                            Cooperation :  Kajimoto Concert Management Co., Ltd.

                                                 YAMAHA Artist Service, Tokyo

                                                 The Meguro Ward Educational Board

                                                 The Patrons of the Special Orchestral Club

                                                 Digimix Creative

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The Leaflet

Taken at the school on the day of the event.@ Yu K.

Taken at the Principalfs Office, Mr. Chikara Iwamura (left) and Mr. Kenichi Shimizu, Principal (right) @@© Yu K.

  

 Special thanks to my good personal friend, Mr. Henry V. Drennan (also known as Uncle Henry writing children songs) for the English translation of this site.

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