Gratitude Message at the completion of the 22nd Music Festival with Martha Argerich

The 22nd MUSIC FESTIVAL Argerich's Meeting Point in Beppu was held after an absence of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully ended with a concert with Martha Argerich, President of Argerich Arts Foundation, on May 31. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the visitors who attended the concerts and the people who have provided support for the Music Festival to make it happen.

The last concert held in Atami on May 31, the final day of the Music Festival, was intended to think of the importance of the spiritual world by combining Japan's traditional Noh play and Western classical music amid changes happening in Japanese society and the world with the coronavirus pandemic. This intension was also driven by our hope that the communication of this importance from Japan to the world, as well as throughout the country, may help people feel more about the spiritual culture of Japan and the essence of classical music. This was our motivation of this project.

The concert was realized through the connection with the MOA Museum in Atami.
Mr. Uchida Tokugo, Director of the Museum, kindly introduced to us Noh actor Mr. Tatsumi Manjiro, and thanks to him we received the cooperation of Noh actor and Living National Treasure Mr. Otsuki Bunzo. Without Mr. Tatsumi who directed the stage, the concert could not have been realized.

Western music of Bach was fused with the tranquil Noh expressions of all kinds of feelings that humans possess, such as joy, sadness, anger, anguish, and consolation, which people in Japan are unfortunately forgetting these days. I felt this stage posed a possibility for any human being to go beyond differences in skin color, religion, politics and culture.
The soul containing diverse feelings acted by Mr. Otsuki left the stage with joy applauding the music played by the pianist. Here, I felt respect and consideration to others.
Humbleness and consideration to others communicated in Japan, which, I think, is all the more meaningful.

Bach, the father of classical music, expressed the essence of music saying, "Music is a universal language of human beings that does not necessitate words, since putting it there, a soul is speaking to a soul." Beethoven suffered a great deal but was saved by music, and even now many people are encouraged by his music.

Noh expresses a spiritual world possessing sensitivity and strength unique to Japan. Noh has been succeeded through generations with efforts accumulated by many people. I hope people will have more opportunities to experience it as a proud genre of the arts in Japan.
I strongly affirmed anew that we should raise an alert through these attempts over people's acts of forgetting pride in our own country and not thinking deeply in a shallow social trend destroying various precious things.

The concert will be reproduced as a documentary film by Stephanie Argerich, a film director, and broadcast worldwide. I hope many people will have a chance to view it.

Music does not have the power to change society, but it holds mysterious attractiveness to move people's thinking and minds. I would like to believe that if each of us does not give up, but continues to make efforts in our individual places, we will be able to have a good society.

June 10, 2022

Ito Kyoko
Vice Chairperson, Argerich Arts Foundation
General Producer, MUSIC FESTIVAL Argerich's Meeting Point in Beppu

Held on May 31, 2022
The 40th Anniversary of MOA Museum of Art
Atamiza Martha Argerich & Otsuki Bunzo Special Concert

[ Artists ]
Martha Argerich (piano), Otsuki Bunzo (Noh actor of Shite-kata, Kanze school),
Tatsumi Manjiro (Noh actor of Shite-kata, Hosho school), Omiya Rintaro (violin),
Sakaguchi Gentaro (viola), Ichi Hiroya (cello)

[ Program ]
L. v. Beethoven: Piano Quartet No. 3 in C major, WoO 36-3
Martha Argerich, Omiya Rintaro, Sakaguchi Gentaro, Ichi Hiroya

Noh dance "Kantan"
Otsuki Bunzo (leading actor),Taketomi Yasuyuki (Noh chorus), Otsuki Yuichi (Noh chorus), Inamoto Kanta (Noh chorus)

Commentary: Tatsumi Manjiro

J. S. Bach: Partita No.2 in c minor, BWV826 (piano solo by Martha Argerich & Noh dance)
Martha Argerich, Otsuki Bunzo (Noh dance)

Directed by: Tatsumi Manjiro

Planned and Produced by: Ito Kyoko

Organizer: MOA Museum of Art
Cooperation: Argerich Arts Foundation