Happy 23, Nobu! 辻井伸行君23歳の誕生日おめでとう。

September 13, 2011
今 日は、クララ・シューマン(1819年)、アルノルト・シェーンベルク(1874年)、辻井伸行さん(1988年)の誕生日であり、エマニュエル・シャブ リエ(1894年)、レオポルド・ストコフスキー(1977年)の命日です。 Today, birthday of Clara Schumann (1819), Arnold Schoenberg (1874), Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii (1988) and  Chablis Emmanuel D (1894), and the anniversary of Leopold Stokowski (1977)  -- twitter

Nobuyuki Tsujii was born on September 13, 1988.

In just 22 years, he has accomplished more than most people in a lifetime. 
This, in spite of being deprived of sight,  at birth.

"God has taken his eyes, but given him the physical endowment and mental endowment to encompass the greatest works of piano.," said Menahem Pressler
, a Cliburn Competition  juror.

Dr. Yukio Yokoyama,  a professor at Nobu's  University,  said that he heard from the judges of the competition that "Tsujii won not because he was a completely blind pianist, but because we wanted to listen (to him) as musicians."

"Nobuyuki Tsujii is blind. He's playing with his heart. He has such a pure soul that only the greatest artists have," someone wrote in a recent Twitter message.

Dr. Masahiro Kawakami, Nobu's  piano teacher for 12 years, said his pupil has nobility.

From an article published in the Japan Press: "He is humble and respectful of  all the people around him. He never regrets his life nor  blames his handicap."

"The real source of a beautiful tone quality is the musicianship and intelligence of the performer." wrote Charles Rosen in the book Piano Notes.  He wasn't writing about Nobu specifically, but he could have been. 

"Just imagine being in this man's shoes and having led his daunting life. Then listen to this music. Then imagine what it would have been like for him to play in front of many superb pianists like this in a competition setting. It is inconceivable. This is one of the greatest human achievements on record in the history of mankind. This young man deserves to be a household name worldwide, not for himself but for others. His message of courage is one of great importance," wrote someone on YouTube.

"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," wrote one who was in the audience at Nobu's performance with the Hudson Valley Symphony Orchestra.

"Tonight was one of the most emotionally charged concerts of my life.  I do not hesitate to say this - Nobuyuki Tsujii is a genius," someone wrote to BBC on Twitter after Nobu's performance of Rachmaninov's No. 2 in Manchester, England.

And he composes. 

The gentle sweetness of his "What the Wind Carries" makes my heart ache.   His depiction of  nature --  the chirping of birds, the winds,  flowing water -- is  masterful.

"『神様のカルテ~辻井伸行自作集』のアルバムを聴いています。辻井さんのピアノは私の中にあるネガティブな思いを洗い流してくれるような気持ちにさせてくれます☆聴いた後はきっと、雨のあとの澄んだ空気のようになれそうな気がします♫  ("God's Medical Chart" original compositions collection - Nobuyuki Tsujii," I listened to the album. The piano of Mr. Tsujii  lets me wash off the negative feelings I have inside, ♫ so we get to feel the fresh air after the rain").

Nobu has  enriched my life immeasurably.  I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunities to enjoy his music and to witness his triumphs 

Happy birthday, Tsujii-san
May you continue to live a life full of praise and happiness.

"Peanuts" cartoon,  Charles Schutz

age 12

age 15

age 17

2009, age 20

2010, age 21

2011, age 22
photo by Yuji Hori