YNSO gives 1st Okinawa Pref. concert in 30 years

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Nobuyuki Tsujii plays the piano with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ryusuke Numajiri in Naha on Wednesday.

The Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (YNSO) performed in Naha on Wednesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the return of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty and the 60th anniversary of the orchestra.

The concert at the Naha Cultural Arts Theater NAHArt was also the YNSO’s first concert in the prefecture in 30 years.

In the first half of the concert, popular pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii gave a passionate performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 under the baton of Ryusuke Numajiri, earning huge applause from the audience of about 1,600 who packed the auditorium. As an encore, Tsujii played “Okinawa no Kaze” (The wind of Okinawa), his own composition featuring elements from Okinawan music.

“I’ve come to Okinawa many times, but it was the first time for me to play with an orchestra here. The sonority was great, and I could play to my satisfaction,” Tsujii said.

Brilliant sounds filled the venue as the orchestra played Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in the second half.

“The blue ceiling of the auditorium made me feel fantastic, as if I were in the sea,” Numajiri said after the concert. “I hope we can regularly give orchestral concerts here and bring the charms of classical music to the people in Okinawa.”

The concert was hosted by The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nippon Television Network Corp., Yomiuri Telecasting Corp. and the YNSO. It was cohosted by the city of Naha and supported by the Okinawa prefectural government, among others. The sponsors included Okinawa Cellular Telephone Co., Okinawa Electric Power Co., Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo Co., Non-Destructive Inspection Co., Fujitec Co., Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. and Ryuseki Corp.