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Yesterday, August 26, I went to Matsumoto city, Nagano prefecture for the Saito Kinen Orchestra concert.  It is a nice train ride along Chuo Line where I find many trees and mountains.  It was a bit hectic as I rushed from the project meetings at KMD to check in at the hotel, change and head for the concert hall in time. Concert hall is buzzing with people with expectation of the exciting evening.  During the time of the Saito Kinen Festival, the city of Matsumoto gets unusual number of visitors and activities every year. Thus every road is crowded and there is a LONG line for taxi!

This is the third year in a row that I come to the concert, but the first to attend the evening concert. (It is more relaxing as I need not rush back!)  The audience of Saito Kinen reminds me of the audience I see at Carnegie Hall and/or Lincoln Center in NYC. They are hard-core group, though they do NOT act like one.

The program included Overture-Fantasy “Romeo and Juliet” by Tchaikovsky, Bartok Piano concert No. 3 played by Peter Serkin, and Symphony No. 4 by Tchaikovsky conducted by Diego Matheuz.

When I heard the first piece, I was overwhelmed!  The music was so beautiful that you feel that you are given a new life.  Music connects people beyond borders of any kind, as you need no words, no translation. It just hits you with its beauty.

The audience was enthusiastic throughout and after the concert.  The conductor, Diego Matheuz, was fantastic and so was Peter Serkin. (I believe I have heard Peter  Serkin before, but not Diego Matheuz.)

I felt so fortunate to have this opportunity to enjoy the music played by world-class professionals who get together once a year to remember their teacher, Hideo Saito. You can almost feel from the music how dedication and committed Mr. Saito must have been to develop world-class musicians.  I have to ask myself whether any one of us is as dedicated and committed to develop young people to become world-class professionals in our own fields.

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