Tokyo Tech News
On May 9, some 450 fortunate listeners filled the Digital Multipurpose Hall on Ookayama Campus for a magical evening of "The Spirit of Improvisation in Classical Music and Jazz Presented by Eiji Kitamura* and Taichi Hiratsuka."
The Tokyo Tech concert series, launched by the former Graduate School of Engineering in 2015 and carefully planned by the Institute's faculty members, features compositions that aim to inspire scientists continuously. While the objective is to provide unique content that represents the identity of the Institute and introduce young musical talent, the series occasionally welcomes special guest performers. This time, Tokyo Tech was honored to welcome clarinet legend Eiji Kitamura to its campus.
In the first half of the session, pianist Taichi Hiratsuka teamed up with violinist Issei Kurihara to play classical compositions by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel, Kreisler, and Paganini while incorporating improvisational elements.
In the latter half, clarinetist Eiji Kitamura paired with pianist Kazuhide Takahama to play famous jazz pieces such as Memories of You, Moonlight Serenade, and The World Is Waiting. To complete the event, Hiratsuka and Kurihara joined Kitamura to play Fritz Kreisler's Liebesfreud.
The Tokyo Tech Concert Series continues on September 12, when the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's principal flutist Walter Auer will be welcomed to the Institute. Auer will be holding a flute masterclass and concert for Tokyo Tech students and alumni.
Some may wonder where the connections lies between music and a science and technology university. However, considering that the likes of Johann Strauss II, his younger brother Josef, and Herbert von Karajan all studied at Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), the choice by a Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra member to pass on his knowledge to Tokyo Tech may be more evident than many realize.
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