I’m leading a Japanese group tonight, the Hokusai Chamber Orchestra, at St James’ Piccadilly. It’s a special memorial concert for last year’s earthquake and tsunami, and showcases a stunning selection of (reeeeally intense) music. In fact, all the music makes for compelling listening; from the western hemisphere, Shostakovich’s concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings and Concerto Grosso by Vaughan Williams will both make an appearance.
The Japanese music on the programme is really interesting: the Triptych for String Orchestra Akutagawa (a 20th century Japanese composer) blew away any stereotypes I had about Japanese classical music being reflectively atmospheric fragile gentle things. It’s what would be politely known by session musicians as a ‘roast’. A helluva lot of notes, in other words! And an explosive piece of music.
But there’s plenty of atmospheric reflection too; we’ll be premiering a piece by Keiko Takano that uses a lot of other-worldly sounds to create a sound-world all its own.
7.30pm tonight at St James’ Piccadilly, London