Greek Pianist Panos Karan made his first visit to Japan last August after the disaster with his electric piano in order to cheer up people by music and held recitals at shelters and other plac
es. One year after the disaster, he revisited Japan to express his condolence and encourage people through music and made a recital tour around Japan; in Miyagi prefecture he held piano recitals at Ishinomaki city, Kesennuma and so on.
The first recital in Miyagi prefecture was held at Ogihama primary school in the Oshika Peninsula. Teachers, students and local people gathered to enjoy listening to his piano at its gymnasium, the recital venue, where the memory of the graduation ceremony the day before lingered on in everyone's heart. First, Mr. Karan introduced himself and shared his wishes for the recovery of the distressed areas with people there in his thoughtful speech in Japanese.
Then he played seven pieces of music in all such as Chaikovski Chopin Haendel, Greece music and finally Japanese music "Sakura Sakura" and the venue turned into a healing space.
【At Oginohama primary school seven current students listened to Mr. Panos Karan play 】
When he finished his performance, some of the audience voluntarily stood up and applauded. He gave them encores.
【Mr. Panos Karan received great applause.】
Local people and teachers warmly welcomed Mr. Karan and the recital finished by taking a commemorative photo with nice smiles on their faces.
Then he moved to HANA house, a community cafe in Kaduma district to perform the second recital of the day. When he arrived, many children already got together and so he held a small piano class for them.
【Children were very interested in Mr. Panos Karan's piano class】
Mr. Karan surrounded by children and taught them how to play piano. They look at him with such serious eyes that we couldn't help smiling.
【A recital in the sunshine】
In the warm afternoon sunshine, his performance ended peacefully and people there were comforted by his music and children's smiles.
【On March 22, day 2 Recitals at two different temporary housing meeting places in Ishinomaki city】
Day 2, recitals took place at two different temporary housing meeting places in Ishinomaki city.
Many people gathered at the venue one after another inspired by the melody and also nurses who returned from a tour of house calls in temporary housing joined the recital.
【A large audience of local people at the recital 】
"Thanks for holding a concert like this! A great comfort to me!", "I was so impressed to listen to a person from overseas performing 'Sakura Sakura' for us, an exotic Japanese song for him,"
These remarks showed how they felt and they didn't want to stop applauding saying "Encore! Encore!" It was while he was playing unscheduled "Koujyou no Tsuki (The Moon over a Ruined Castle)", a Japanese nostalgic melody from the score that people began to sing together "In spring, at the tall tower, the blossom -watching carousel... " and they felt so united that some of them were moved to tears. A woman brightly said "My husband, died in the disaster, used to listen to classical music at home. Everything including CD's had been swept away and so I haven't been able to listen to them anymore. But today I'm awfully glad I could listen to a live piano playing. All of them are familiar to me."
In the afternoon, he held the second recital of the day at another meeting place. Some people already waited in line in front of the meeting place. The audience there was also excited about his performance and called for "Turkischer Marsch" as an encore. He willingly improvised the encore. Finally, they shook hands and shoot photos. Wherever Mr. Karan went, he was very popular.
Particularly, women were so curious about him that they asked him questions in a friendly atmosphere such as "How old are you? Are you married? Is there someone you're seeing? You are so cool!"
Mr.Karan said "Although we can't communicate by words, we can convey our thoughts through music and it's happening here. This is a truly significant thing for us and I'm very happy to see that." Next day, Mr. Karan will head for Kesennuma city.
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