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Twinz Records and Consulate General of Japan Present Ayuko Higuchi at Weill Hall in a Debut Piano Recital
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Twinz Records and Consulate General of Japan Present Ayuko Higuchi at Weill Hall in a Debut Piano Recital

- Classical and Cultural Connections

Ayuko Higuchi, Piano
Carnegie Hall Début

Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
(Weill Hall Website)
Presented by
The Japanese Consulate General in New York
(Japanese Consulate Website)
And
TWINZ Records
www.twinzrecords.com

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 10, 2006


(See Ayuko Higuchi CD Review)

Ayuko Higuchi was a musical prodigy at the age of nine, performing a piano concerto with Kansai Symphonic Orchestra in Japan. She is a gold medal winner in a piano competition in Japan and won first prize in a similar competition in Portugal. Ms. Haguchi composes some of her own music and also performs internationally to benefit children exposed to serious diseases and wartime chemicals. This is Ms. Higuchi’s New York Debut Recital. (Program Notes)

Program:

Ayuko Higuchi Compositions:
Soul and Beautiful Life

Frédéric Chopin:
Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53
Étude in E major, Op. 10, No. 3
Waltz in D-flat major, “Petit Chien”
Fantaisie Impromptu
Ballade No. 4 in F minor

Franz Liszt:
Liebestraum No. 3
Mädchens Wunsch
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp minor



Ayuko Higuchi was presented tonight to invited guests from The Japanese Consulate General in New York, TWINZ Records, RobertaOnTheArts.com, and the Carnegie Hall community. Award-winning Ms. Haguchi was a vision to behold, as well as to hear, as she wore two stunning taffeta gowns, one off-the-shoulder, aqua blue with a chiffon train that wrapped the black piano stool and one strapless, brilliant red, with a hoop to keep the skirt afloat. I mention these fashion details, as Ayuko Higuchi was a perfectionist to detail, and every impression was obviously attended to, in this, her sought-after New York recital début.

Ms. Haguchi addressed the audience with grace and gratitude. Her own composition, Soul, was elegant and ethereal with a nurturing melody. She followed with four Chopin works, and the Polonaise had dynamism and drive. The Steinway presented its potential, as Ms. Haguchi tore into the dramatic passages with gusto, without affecting her calm demeanor. The Étude, with its renowned romanticism, drew the audience in, and Ms. Haguchi’s adept fingering enhanced the sumptuous passages of the work. Chopin’s ”Petit Chien” Waltz is named for Georges Sand, whose puppy chased its tale. Its fast movement is also known as A Minute Waltz. Ms. Haguchi mastered the tricky technique with aplomb.

The Fantaisie Impromptu, with its contrasting moods and motion, was popular in the salons of Paris in 1834. Ms. Haguchi paused effectively at each rhythmic transition. The Ballade closed her Chopin repertoire, and it seemed to be the most challenging work in the first half of this program. The treble notes almost fell silent, while some rapid passages were performed with persuasive percussion. The Liszt repertoire began with the Liebestraum, and the introspective interludes built in texture and tenacity. Liszt’s arrangement of Chopin’s Mädchens Wunsch included playful, precise passages in the motif of a mazurka.

The final Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody, showcased the extent to which Ms. Higuchi has mastered this genre. She was most relaxed in the czarda-like refrains. Beautiful Life, another personal composition, similar to Soul, was as simple in form as a Satie. There were a few encores, including Amazing Grace and Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm. Obviously, Ayuko Higuchi has a promising career with her performance versatility and enchanting demeanor. Kudos to Ayuko Higuchi, TWINZ Records, and The Japanese Consulate General in New York for a fine début recital.




Manfred Knoop, on Right, and Friends
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Ayuko Higuchi at Post-Concert Reception
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Ayuko Higuchi, Dr. Bela Levingart, Dr. Garry Levingart
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Drs. Levingart and Friends
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Regina Belot and Family
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Manfred Knoop, TWINZ Records, and Ayuko Higuchi
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Ayuko Higuchi and Her Mother
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Ayuko Higuchi and Her Husband
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Ayuko's Mother and Brother
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower




For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net