Special Exchange Program with Ms Martha Argerich and the Higashiyama Elementary School Orchestral Club
VHS RO2829N （Not for sale）
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 youths’involvement 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
conducted the same number here in June of the same year. The performance was
televised on NHK.) Mr. Iwamura went on to conduct Beethoven’s 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
und Menschen from Schumann Kinderszenen, Op.15, and
Ms Argerich’s 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
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
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 NHK’s TV program “Studio Park”. That event is also recorded
Recording Date: 23 July, 2002 (live)
Recording Place: The gymnasium in the Higashiyama Elementary School, Tokyo
Producer: Shoji Sato (Kajimoto Concert Management Co., Ltd.)
Production : Higashiyama 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
Taken at the school on the day of the event. © Yu K.
at the Principal’s Office, Mr. Chikara Iwamura (left) and Mr. Kenichi Shimizu,
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.