|Last week (August 6), Japan marked the 66th anniversary of the atomic bombing. (http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Japan-s-Hiroshima-city-marks-atomic-bombing-1750958.php)
In the United States, the day passed quietly. But I remember an article
that I could not forget since I first read it. It was written days
after Nobu gave a performance of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in New
York last fall. The article was written by an American clergy woman who
was in the audience at the concert:
There is peace in the valley — in the
Hudson Valley. I felt it recently at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House as I
listened to the young Japanese pianist, Nobuyuki Tsujii, play Chopin at
this season's opening Hudson Valley Philharmonic concert.
The brilliance of his talent and the beauty of the Chopin piano concerto
brought many of us to tears. The 21-year-old Gold Medalist of this
year's Van Cliburn International Piano Competition sat right before my
eyes in Poughkeepsie; he was from across the world; he was playing my
favorite music, born in a country where American bombs — atomic bombs —
fell just over 60 years ago. He brought peace. It was a privilege to be
there to feel world peace in his presence and in the music...."
will turn 23 years old on the 13th of September. Since I started this website on
the eve of his last birthday, that day will mark the first anniversary of
this site. Although I started this website with American Nobu fans in mind, I have been pleasantly surprised by how international the visitors to this site are. If statistics from google
is to be believed, the majority of my readers are from Nobu's own
country Japan, with the United States a distant second. But apparently there
are Nobu fans all over the world, in Canada, Asia (China, Taiwan, Korea,
Thailand, India), Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, the Bermuda, many parts of Europe; and some parts
of Africa, the Middle East, and South America.
have been asked how I came to be so passionate about a pianist . And I
have no answer. It is really improbable that I, an American citizen of
Chinese descent who was never too big of a fan of classical music, have
become such an ardent admirer of a Japanese pianist that I knew
nothing about until that fateful night last September, when I first watched the Cliburn Competition documentary on television ("How I Caught the "Nobu Fever").
Perhaps no one is more
astonished by the depth of my admiration for Nobu than myself. You must realize that, traditionally,
there is no love lost between the Chinese and the Japanese, because of what happened in the last world war.
Yet from the first moment that I became aware of the phenomenon
of Nobu, his nationality has never been a factor. So moving is his
music and so compelling his story that, to me and apparently many
others, he transcends borderlines that divide countries and
I am grateful to what one reader wrote: " please let me say that I really cannot admire you enough for
willingly devoting yourself to such a huge-scale volunteer dedication to
help spreading Nobu’s MIRACLES into every corner of this whole world." But
I wouldn't be doing this (virtually a full-time job :-) if I were not so
moved by Nobu. There is no substitute for the satisfaction that I derive from sharing news with and hearing from other Nobu fans.
It has been mentioned by many that Nobu has a healing power.
I agree. I believe there is something truly special in the combination of Nobu's youthful exuberance, his likable personality, his hopefulness, his
purity and innocence, the beauty of his music, his extraordinary talents, and the inspiration that
Nobu has the power of evoking good will. And right now, this world is in desperate need of good will. We live in a difficult time: earthquakes and other natural disasters have devastated many nations in recent years, and financial
troubles have continued to haunt the western world -- including the U.S. There is a palpable nervousness in the earth's atmosphere.
A blogger wrote, at the conclusion of the 2009 Van
Cliburn Competition, that "we now have an ambassador" (for classical piano music) in Nobuyuki Tsujii,
and that he (the blogger) could see Nobu performing at embassies and
palaces all over the world as an emissary of peace.
Last May, after Nobu performed a "mini-concert" at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo for friends and earthquake victims, a long time Nobu fan in Japan wrote: "I am just so moved that Nobu is really
being a bridge between the United States and Japan." Next month, Nobu will hold joint friendship concerts with South Korean young pianist Yeol Yum Son (Nobuyuki Tsujii - Yeol Yum Son joint concerts, Sept. 2011) to raise fund for Japan's earthquake reconstruction efforts.
Nobu's compositions seem to be popular in Asia. And his videos are seen all over the world, inspiring admiration from all corners.
Emissary of Peace - I like the sound of that title for Nobuyuki. I second the nomination. Let us make him an Ambassador of Peace and send him all over the world to perform, so that more people may experience the privilege " to feel world peace in his presence and in the music".
Nobu with Conductor John Giordano --photo from the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, 2010
Nobu, with Korean Yeol Yum Son (L),and Chinese Hoachen Zhang - winners of the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Nobu with U.S. Ambassador Roos and students from earthquake zone, at a mini-concert in May 2011.
Friendship - in Japanese/Chinese
Nobu will turn 23 on Sept 13