Q&A ASAHI NEWSPAPER WITH KANAKO ABE
Q. You studied the piano and the composition, why did you turn to the conducting?
A. Both of my parents are chorus conductor and I was interested in conducting since always, but in music high school I have chosen the composition as my major. Besides of composition which is the art of time - constructing music works by sound, I also like architecture which is the art of construction in space. Furthermore I am passionate on seeking the way to lead and save people, bringing the goodness and peace in their soul with some thought, such as religion or philosophy. And, above all, I have a strong willing to live while involving a lot of people and stay in the place that smells “humans”. . . After I compiled such things together, I eventually reached the choice of "conductor".
Q. You are passionate on contemporary music and you conduct it very often. In Japan, especially in the orchetra’s subscription concerts, the contemporary works are rarely programmed and we don’t have opportunities to get in touch with. Could you please let us know its appeal and significance as a musician.
A. It is a very exciting experience to discover the music work composed by living composers with whom we are sharing the same era, breathing the same air, and to feel the flow of the world today through the sharp sensibility or the unique point of view of the composer.
Unlike repeatedly listening to immortal masterpieces that everyone knows with various interpretations, acts of enjoying new works without any prejudice, only with their own sensibilities, imagination, needs to the audience a certain kind of creativity.
I am persuaded that human being wont survive without creativity. As a musician
it is the most important mission to help the birth of new music works and introduce it to the world. Also it is a great and exciting opportunity to participate to premiere a new work, being able to communicate directly with the composer during the music making process.
Q. Please tell us about the program of your upcoming concert in Osaka.
A. It is a program full of vitality and freshness. The first half is Mozart's early masterpiece Symphony No. 29 coupled with his Flute Concerto in D major, with the amazing Yasuka Nanbu as a soloist.
The second half is Schumann's Symphony No. 1 "Spring". Schumann who finally got married to his beloved Clara after long years of suffering and conflict with her family. This symphony was composed in the happiness of his newly-married life. The first movement begins with a brave introduction, followed by the emotional and vivid character, the second movement full of grace, the third movement featuring elegant humor, the symphony ends in a grand scale with a joyful final movement. It is the music that touches me enormously in each details, I am very much looking forward to conduct it at this occasion.
Q. What do you want to tell the young people who is aiming to become a conductor ?
A. When I asked one of former senior conductors "What are the elements necessary for the conductor?", He answered "Human power!". He is right !
A conductor is a "knowledgeable person" with broad knowledge about music in general, a conductor is also a "catalyst" between composer and player / audience, being faithful to the intention of composers and their works. But after all, a conductor doesn’t make any sound him(her)self and must always reproduce the music that he (she) imagines in the communicating with the performers. To do that, first of all, I suggest you to love human beings. And to have a technique and skill to convey your thoughts and intentions to many people in an appropriate form according to the situation. And to enrich the palette of the communication skill day by day in your life experience. To have a human power is to love human beings, understanding and accepting consciously the human nature.