After her debut, Ms. Muroi had almost always been successful in her recitals, but was unsatisfied and troubled with her performance. At the age of thirty-five, she reached a turning point when she was chosen as Japan’s representative to attend the “200th Anniversary of the Birth of Mozart” held in Vienna.

 

The visit to Vienna led her to study at the Berlin University of the Arts. Continuing to base her activities in Europe, she held numerous recitals in thirteen countries and was also chosen as one of “The World’s 150 Great Pianists” published in Berlin.

 

When she played Beethoven’s Piano Concerto at a recital in Czechoslovakia, she was asked by a female critic, “Why do you, a Japanese, play Beethoven?” She answered, “Beethoven composed music not only for the German people, but for all of humanity; so, I portray his music as a fellow human being.” At the end of the recital, she saw the critic waving her hand more than anyone and nodding in agreement. Music has no borders. She realized that what she must portray were the intentions that the composers put into their music along with their true personalities.

 

At the age of sixty-one, she returned to Japan and again began her activities at home. Since then, she has held more than twenty unique talk concerts, in which she illustrates in a comprehensible way how a much richer sound can be generated through a deep interpretation of musical scores by comparing the same music played differently. Even today, she sits down at the piano every day to continue conveying the fascination of music through performances that has become mellower with age.

 

Mayako Muroi

Born in Tokyo in 1921. Graduated from the Graduate School of the Tokyo Music School (currently the Tokyo University of the Arts) in 1943. In 1956, chosen as student for the 1st German Academic Exchange Service. In 1982, returned to Japan. Aside from performing, has released many albums. Most recent publication is “Continue Doing Every Day” (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Publishers)

Cooperation: Zele Music Office

Translation: Media Research, Inc.

 

This article originally appeared in “Shinsei” magazine, June 2017 issue, published by RINRI Institute of Ethics. Partially rewritten to update for this internet release.

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