Viet Nam News
Young violinist Fumiaki Miura and pianist Akira Eguchi performed at the Hà Nội Opera House for the first time on Sunday. The concert was held by Moet Hennessy and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Performing Arts Department.
The duo played Antonin Dvorak’s Romance; Mozart’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Igo Stravinsky’s Divertimento for Violin and Piano from the composer’s ballet The Fairy’s Kiss and Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No 10.
Born in 1993, violinist Miura is one of the most talented violinists in his generation whilst pianist Eguchi is a veteran with more than 30 years of performing experience.
The Japanese musicians spoke about their career to Culture Vulture.
Why did the concert feature pieces from different composers?
We played many popular pieces by composers Dvorak, Mozart, Stravinsky and Beethoven. I always try to play a diverse concert. It’s like eating at a restaurant, with a starter, main course and dessert.
It is the first time Akira and I have performed in Việt Nam.
How do you balance being a young man and a popular violinist?
I started performing after I won first prize at Joseph Joachim Hannover International Violin Competition in 2009. At that time I was 16 years old and I started studying in Vienna. I remember that I really didn’t know what to do. When I was invited to perform at concerts I always asked my teacher what to play. Since then I have experimented and matured.
I’m 24 years old, not too young, and I know what I can do. Now I focus on not too many different programmes but just on some composers that I really want to play to help balance my life. It is a long journey.
My dream is that I can play music when I’m 70-80 years old. I want to encourage young musicians to have different passions in their lives and not just music. There are many joys in life which will help them keep balanced.
Akira Eguchi, you play the instrument New York Steinway model CD75 (1912) which Vladmir Horowitz played, currently owned by Takagi Klavier of Tokyo. How is this instrument special for you?
My musical career has been always inspired by Horowitz. He is a very special pianist for me. Lucky enough the instrument owner pick me to play the instrument. It’s a great honour.
It is very difficult to express my feelings when I touched the piano for the first time. It is not easy to play because it is a very difficult instrument. It has certain characteristics. I imagine the piano is strong when it plays as it has a soul. I love the piano.
You have accompanied popular pianists such as Gil Shaham and Anne Akiko Meyers at concerts. How was playing with Fumiaki Miura?
Pianists feel a bit touchy when they are called accompanying musicians. But I’m not touchy, I’m proud to accompany good and talented musicians. Fumiaki is much younger than me. My age is about the same as his father and I know his father. I think the most important thing is harmony between the two musicians. I like playing music with my colleagues and Fumiaki is one of them.
Fumiaki, you are not only the youngest ever winner of the Joseph Joachim Hanover International Violin Competition in 2009 but also the most decorated musician in the festival, winning First Prize, the Music Critics’ and the Audience Prize. What do you remember about the festival?
I didn’t know how big the competition was and I didn’t know about the pressure. I had to play music in three rounds of performances. I was 16 at that time and Germany was very different from back home. But I can tell you that I enjoyed the competition very much. I stayed with a German family and thanked them very much because of the good food they served.
I don’t know why I won prizes, maybe because I prayed. When I was informed about the prizes I was shocked, in a good way, because it was the first time I attended the big competition and won prizes.
How did you become a violinist?
First of all, I remember that I did not ask to play a violin. My mom gave me a small violin as a toy when I was four years old. I practiced because my mother gave me a snack or juice afterwards. That is how I started playing violin. When I was six I was lucky enough to study with a wonderful violinist and teacher who was concert master in the NHK Symphony. He also taught my parents and I studied with him for ten years.
I went to Vienna to study and met new people. This was the first time I met people from abroad, I was lucky enough to meet wonderful musicians who always supported me. — VNS