It shows great talent when a classical ensemble can start together in perfect harmony without the guidance of a conductor. On Saturday, December 22nd, 2012, OIST was graced with five Okinawan musicians who do could do just that.
“Yesterday I was a very sad man because it was sunny and warm, which is horrible weather for a winter concert,” said Neil Calder, OIST Vice President of Communications and Public Relations, in his introduction speech before the show. “But today it’s cloudy and chilly for once, which is much more acceptable,” to which the audience responded with laughter.
As if their fingers were attached together by strings, the flutist, violinist, violist and cellist, commenced the OIST Winter Concert with a performance of Wolfgang Mozart’s Flute Quartet No.1, 1st Movement. After pieces by Antonín Dvořák and Franz Schubert that highlighted the rich sound of Ms. Itsuko Arakaki’s viola, pianist Hitomi Takara played Okinawan songs composed by Naoko Zukeran, which the audience responded to with a great round of applause. Part one of the concert concluded with music composed by Jules Massenet and Henryk Wieniawski that featured the fine strings of Ms. Junko Yabiku’s violin. The Auditorium’s well-designed acoustics carried all of the musicians’ notes without the need of speakers.
After a short intermission, the second part of the concert started with pieces by Georges Bizet and François Borne, which both highlighted the floating notes of Mr. Kei Toguchi’s flute. Before ending the concert with Johannes Brahms’ famous Piano Quartet “Gypsy Rondo,” pieces by Camille Saint-Saëns and David Popper forefronted the bellow of Ms. Megumi Shiroma’s cello. In light of the season, the ensemble played “Silent Night,” a famous Christmas song composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, as an encore.
To formally close the performance, Calder thanked the five talented musicians for playing and the audience, composed of both members of the OIST community and the general public, for attending. The event was in part an effort to thank local Okinawans for accepting OIST into their community. “Now that our concert is over, I’m sure the weather will rapidly improve,” he added. After the concert was finished, the musicians were each presented with a bouquet of red roses and members of the audience came to thank them for their “world-class” performance.