“My family all live in Tokyo so fortunately none of them were affected by the tsunami, but it was a huge shock. Many concert halls were totally destroyed and it’s been very difficult. The Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, the big orchestra in that region, has been working so hard. They went to many of the shelters in small groups; I heard they performed more than five hundred charity concerts.
Many musicians lost their jobs and it’s still not good for them there. Here in London my friends and I organised a big concert at the College and it raised a lot of money.
I’m in my fourth year at the Royal College of Music. I’m not sure I want to limit myself by aiming to be a Concert Pianist; I also want to play in ensembles. For example I’m working in a horn trio at the moment. It’s a new project and we’re about to have our first concert. We’re all Asian but from different countries, the other players are from Hong Kong and Korea. We became close friends so we decided to work together.
Unfortunately, there’s not much repertoire for Horn Trio so our violinist Joo Yeon Sir decided to compose a piece. I’m really looking forward to that. We’re also doing the Brahms Horn Trio No.1, probably the most famous piece for horn trio, plus a little known piece by Duvernoy, an eighteenth century composer. It’s a very short piece. We’ll also play a duo piece, the Ravel violin sonata.
As a soloist I have been learning Beethoven, Chopin and Scriabin recently, soon I’m moving over to Russian composers including Rachmaninov and Prokofiev; I’m currently choosing the other composers. My plan is to expand myself as a soloist and enter competitions. While I’m still a student I plan to make the most of any opportunities to play with other performers and get as much experience as I can.” (Natsumi Ikenaga)