Press Room streams piano sensation Nobu live from Paris, April 17

Japanese piano superstar Nobuyuki “Nobu” Tsujii is a 25-year-old who, despite being blind from birth, has miraculously learned such monumental scores as Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata by ear. Moreover, he performs them with such a magical quality that “you feel God’s presence in the room,” according to piano legend Van Cliburn. Nobu – who tied for the gold medal at the 2009 Van Cliburn International Competition – will give a recital at the Louvre Auditorium in Paris on April 17 that will be streamed live by at 7:30 p.m. EST. He will perform works by Chopin, Liszt, Paganini, Gounod and Wagner, including the latter’s “Death of Isolde” from Tristan und Isolde. Nobu was featured prominently in Peter Rosen’s documentary Surprise in Texas about the 2009 Van Cliburn competition, available as video-on-demand at In the documentary, eminent pianist and Van Cliburn juror Menahem Pressler says: “I have the utmost admiration for [Nobuyuji Tsujii]. God has taken his eyes, but has given him the physical and mental endowment to encompass the greatest works of piano. For him to play the Chopin concerto with such sweetness, gentleness and sincerity – it’s deeply touching. I had to keep from crying when I left the room.”
Nobu was born blind, but at age 2, he began playing “Do Re Mi” on a toy piano after his mother hummed the tune. He began formal study at age 4. Three years later, Nobu won first prize at the All Japan Music of Blind Students competition held by the Tokyo Helen Keller Association. He gave his first piano recital in the small auditorium of Tokyo’s Suntory Hall at age 12. By 2005, the pianist reached the semi-final at the 15th International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, receiving the Critics’ Award. In addition to tying for the Gold Medal at the 13th Van Cliburn Competition, Nobu was awarded the Beverley Taylor Smith Award there for best performance of a new work (John Musto’s Improvisation & Fugue). In 2011, the pianist made his main-stage Carnegie Hall recital debut, and he performed in the BBC Proms last summer with the BBC Philharmonic under Juanjo Mena. Nobu is also a composer, having written music for Japanese film and TV. Japanese figure-skating champion Midori Ito has also performed in international events to his music.
Reviewing Nobu’s performance of Chopin’s E Minor Piano Concerto, Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell described it as an “oasis of loveliness.” Van Cliburn Competition juror and veteran pianist Michel Béroff told the Japanese magazine Chopin: “The special thing about his performance is his sound. It has depth, color and contrast – genuine music.” And fellow Van Cliburn Competition juror Richard Dyer, chief music critic for the Boston Globe, said of Nobu’s competition performances: “Very seldom do I close my notebook and just give myself over to it, and he made that necessary. I didn’t want to be interrupted in what I was hearing.”
New Nobu documentary
Nobu is the subject of an upcoming Peter Rosen documentary titled Touching the Sound, a trailer for which can be seen on YouTube. Filmed across the U.S. and in the areas devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan as Nobu performed benefits for the victims, the film details the pianist’s life as a story of hope, redemption and the power of music.
Live from the Louvre
April 17, 2014, 7:30 p.m. EST
Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano
Louvre Auditorium, Paris
Chopin: Nocturne in C sharp minor
Chopin: Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante in E-flat major
Liszt: “The Fountains of the Villa d’Este” from the Years of Pilgrimage
Liszt: Liebestraum No. 3
Liszt: “La Campanella” from Grandes études de Paganini
Wagner: Death of Isolde from Tristan and Isolde
Gounod: Waltz from Faust
Link to Web-cast
Since its official launch in May 2008, has gained international recognition, bringing together a community of 180,000 music and arts lovers from 182 countries – who have watched more than 20 million videos to date. In addition to offering live concert hall events that music lovers can experience on their computers and entertainment systems, now offers a free application (available at the Apple App Store and at Google Play for Android) that makes it possible to experience world-class artistry on iPads, iPhones and Android devices. Consumers of Samsung Smart TVs can now access the application worldwide in 170 countries on the 2011, 2012 and 2013 models, as well as all future ones. More than 75 client universities around the world take advantage of, including Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.
In addition to webcasts of more than 100 live events each year, has partnered with the world’s top artists and music institutions to offer subscriptions that give music lovers the opportunity to watch more than 1,300 video-on-demand programs. They include concerts, operas, recitals, documentaries, master classes, artist portraits and archival material by such legendary musicians as Maria Callas, Glenn Gould, Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Rubinstein, Georg Solti and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
Coming events on
May 6, 2014, 3:00 p.m. EST
John Adams: Doctor Atomic
Opéra National du Rhin, Strasbourg, France
May 21, 2014, 3:00 p.m. EST
Violinist Christian Tetzlaff, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt play Brahms
Louvre Auditorium, Paris, France
May 28, 2014, 3:00 pm EST
Kent Nagano conducts Bach, Liszt and Saint-Saëns
Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
Maison symphonique de Montréal, Canada
June 26, 2014, 3:00 p.m. EST
Rossini: La gazzetta
Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège, Belgium
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© 21C Media Group, March 2014



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