Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Jul 21, 2012

American admirer of Japanese pianist and Japanese admirer of Polish pianist

A few days ago, I received an e-mail from Ms.ML Liu, an American who is a big fan of Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, the winner of 2009 Van Cliburn Competition, and has created a website for Tsujii, similar to this website for Rafał Blechacz. She happened to land on this website when searching for Tsujii's info.

See Ms. Liu's website for Nobuyuki Tsujii.

I read her website and found that we are very similar, having the same spirit of trying to share news and information of the favorite artist for him and his fans by even learning foreign languages unfamiliar so far.  I was deeply impressed by her writing, for example;

(from Ms. Liu's website)
"Since discovering Nobuyuki....., my life has been immensely enriched by this extraordinary artist. I have acquired all of his CDs and am frankly addicted to his music. I have attended numerous of his live performances on multiple continents,..... and have plans to attend many more . I consider myself fortunate to be a witness to the many accomplishments of Nobuyuki Tsujii".

I felt as if looking into the mirror. It's about me if you replace the artist name.

Encountering a great artist makes our life enriched.  Sharing his art with others is a big source of joy.  And for me, knowing that there is someone of the same soul, devoting herself to spreading music of her beloved artist is a big comfort.

When I renewed this website two years ago, I learned a lot from other websites of artists created by their fans; e.g. those of Ivo Pogorelić (Japanese), Nikolai Lugansky (English & Russian), and Mikhail Pletnev (English, Japanese & Chinese) were well organized and informative. I was impressed by the great efforts done by these listeners who’d kept on collecting data of their favorite artists for long years.

Blechacz and Tsujii, courtesy Monthly Chopin March 2006

This photo was taken in Tokyo, on January 29,  2006.  Nobuyuki Tsujii became the youngest semi-finalist of the Chopin Competition in 2005 when Blechacz won. One of the Japanese sponsor companies of the Competition gave a special award to Tsujii.  The sponsor gave the winner's award to Blechacz, who appeared at the venue because he was in Japan to perform for the Special Gala Concerts by the Competition's Laureates for about two weeks in Jan.-Feb., 2006.


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  1. I've also heard and seen Nobuyuki Tsujii's performance on TV. He possesses the ideal combination of technique, musicality and passion.
    His tone: pure and innocent. A promising young pianist.

    1. I love this comment on Mr. Tsujii. I agree with you. And I also share Akiko's concern for him. But in my opinion, Nobu has already come very, very far. I was in London last May for two of his performances with Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, and the reception for him by the British audience blew me away. And it looks like he did it again with Maestro Valery Gergiev in St. Petersburg in June. I am very proud of him - irrationally, because I am only a fan!

  2. I agree. Tsujii is a well-balanced performer blessed with intelligence and sensitivity. His ability can be explored further. Hope that his busy schedule and high exposure to media will not exhaust his inner resources and pleasure to play.

  3. Akiko,
    This is such an honor to Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii and to my modest unofficial website for his international fans. Words cannot express my appreciation, and my admiration for your website for Mr. Rafal Blechacz. The photo from the 2005 Chopin Competition -- which I had never seen -- is a special treat!
    We are indeed fortunate to have the enjoyment of artists like Mr. Belchacz and Mr. Tsujii. Best wishes to them both, and to your excellent website and visitors!

    1. Thank you very much for contacting me. I'm very delighted to know about you and your website. I feel admiration for your enormous efforts to always update it including learning Japanese. I read a book of basic grammar of Polish (a devilishly difficult language, I've not learned it yet), but I think Japanese is by far the more difficult for people in the West. 
      All the best to you and your readers.

  4. きりんさん、こんにちは。

    1. Akiko: It's so thoughtful of you to provide the translation.

      くま-san, I am sorry that my grasp on the Japanese language is very limited. There are so many young pianists that are remarkable and outstanding. Tsujii-san and Mr. Blechacz standing out in the crowd. They are both very special.

    2. くまさん、こんにちは。あは、そうですね。もう1人、英語圏ピアニストが好きな英語ネイティブじゃないヨーロッパのファンがいるとばっちり、かも。

      Translation of conversation above.
      (Comment from a Japanese fan of Rafał living in Poland)
      Hi, I recalled a saying that there are three people in the world who have similar faces. It's amusing to imagine that there is the third one with the same attitude, who loves another pianist. What pianist does (s)he follow to write a blog?
      There is something significant to Tsujii-san's piano, although is different from Rafał-san's.

      Hahaha, yeah, if I find another piano fan, maybe in the continent of Europe who loves a pianist from an English speaking country, it all fits :D

  5. Ichikura-san,

    This page by no means measures up to yours, but it is my humble attempt to reciprocate your generous gesture. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you wish me to make any changes to the page.

    Again, it's been a real pleasure. Let's stay in touch.

    M. L. Liu, California, U.S.A.

    1. If you do wish to visit this page, please use this URL instead - it allows you to make a comment

      Thank you!

  6. kylin-san, Thank you for providing the translation.
    I should have wrote in English at your English site.

    M.L. Liu-san, I enjoyed your blog. I feel your passion for Tsujii-san.

    Thank you!

    1. Thanks kuma-san!!

    2. くま-san,

      Thank you for your kind words in excellent English about my site for Tsujii-san. My site is only two-years old, and is nowhere as elegant as Ms. Ichikura's. Mr. Blechacz is fortunate to have admirers like her and you.

      As for my passion for Tsujii-san - yes, it is definitely that. I have a son of my own, and I have written on my site that I think of Nobu as a "special son" (borrowing a phrase from Mrs. Davidson of Nobu's host family at the Cliburn Competition.)

      Thanks again.

  7. I will only add that Nobu is also admired in Poland. He played the e-minor Concerto on May 25th in our concert hall; Nobu played a mazurka for his encore ;-) The evening was very special, the applause very loud and warm. Łukasz Borowicz, our young conductor, made a nice introduction and he said a few warm words about the pianist to the audience (a nice tradition from Poznań, where conductors often say someting nice about soloists before starting to conduct). Strangely enough, I actually had planned to be in Prague on that day and listen to Rafał's Beethoven 4th, but finally I couldn't and I was listening to Nobu instead, thinking about both our special pianists, and recalling Rafał's performance of f-minor two years before at the same place... But then, I didn't even know that they had ever met!

    Hugs from Poland and good luck with the grammar of our beautiful mother tounge :)

    1. Hi Marzena, thank you for sharing the nice tradition from Poznań. Rafał also played the e-minor concerto there in 2007 (I heard the recorded performance; a brilliant interpretation full of life). I remember your challenging schedule of that week in May. You saved Rafał's Beethoven for later. As you mentioned wisely somewhere, the expectation of attending his future performance is a "nice motivation to stay fit & healthy" (at least for me).

      Yes your mother tongue is very beautiful; Chopin's music is influenced by its rhythm and sound.

      Thanks, Akiko

    2. Hi there in Poland,

      Thanks for your kind words about Nobu. The good people in Poznana were very gracious to Nobu and I believe Nobu had a great time there last May - he was visibly moved while being presented flowers on stage.

      This page posted on a Polish radio station kept me smiling for days - it has some beautiful photos from the May 25th performance, and even an interview with Nobu - it ends with Nobu being taught to say "Thank you" dziękuję in Polish. He did well and sounded relaxed and happy.


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