Nobuyuki Tsujii, an award-winning Japanese musician, made his first ever performance in Singapore on Tuesday night at the Esplanade Concert Hall. During the recital, he displayed his abilities by playing Chopin and Debussy. According to promoters, tickets were already sold out approximately two months back. Perhaps one of the most distinguishing thing about Nobuyuki is that he is blind. Despite that, it does not stop him from having magical hands and an amazing ear for music.

“Chopin is one of my favourite composers so I hope the audience enjoys him too,” said Nobuyuki in Japanese when he was interviewed on Sunday at Copthorne King’s Hotel. In fact, the soon to be 25-year-old, was just fresh off the plane from recitals in Vietnam. He has a rather tight schedule following his Singapore recital too as he will be heading over to Berlin to record a CD for Japanese label Avex Classics.

The pianist rise to fame first took place back in 2009 when he tied for first place at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Texas with Chinese pianist, Zhang Haochen. They were also the first two Asians to ever win the career-launching piano competition. Since then, Nobuyuki has went on regular tours as a concert soloist in Asia, America and Europe. Aside from that, he has also had the opportunity to play alongside well-known names such as Britain’s Philharmonia Orchestra under noted Russian-born conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy and the BBC Philharmonic. Currently, he is doing a tour around the South-East Asia region.

Although he is relatively self-sufficient, he still requires help to get around at times. Mainly, it would be his long-time manager, Nick Asano who will assist him. “I really love travelling. From very long ago, I have dreamt of doing this, travelling around the world and now that it is a reality, I am very happy,” he stated. It was his mother that was the first to be aware of his partiality towards Chopin, out of all the classical music she played, when he was merely eight years of age. “I would move my legs to the rhythm. Because I enjoyed music, when I was two years old, my mother bought me a little toy piano and I would play the keys as she sang,” he recalled with a laugh. For more of the story, do check it out here.

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