One of Japan’s most noted pianists is on fire in Kelso

For the second time in two years Kelso Music Society welcome back the astonishing Japanese pianist Yu Kosuge.
For the second time in two years Kelso Music Society welcome back the astonishing Japanese pianist Yu Kosuge.

For the second time in two years Kelso Music Society welcome back the astonishing Japanese pianist Yu Kosuge.

She arrived in Kelso for the first time three weeks after receiving Japan’s mega musical honour, the Suntory award, given , not just to pianists and instrumentalists but to Japan’s most important performers whom they feel in that year have done most to promote Western music in Japan.

Yu lives between Tokyo and Munich and is a major star in both Europe and the Far East. Her performance two years ago for colour and sheer virtuosity was like nothing that has been heard in Kelso before. This time she focuses on the theme of fire, pieces by a range of great composers whose works look from the smouldering fireside to a ritual fire dance and Stravinsky’s Firebird suite. There is even a piece which Debussy gave to his coal merchant in payment for a load of coal which has only recently surfaced in the coal merchant’s family. Buckets of water will be at the ready because anything could happen.

This is the second time Kelso Music Society have engaged any one from Japan which produces legions of superb musicians. Others come from the Ukraine and the Balkans, Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic all countries that take their music very seriously and produce these extraordinary musicians. Nearer to home they take the pick of the best, like the great pianist Steven Osborne and a major young guitar phenomenon Sean Shibe, both from Edinburgh along with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s fabulous wind section coming this year and, also from the SCO, principal cellist Philip Higham.

The Music Society just last week received, with his accompanist of 35 years, one of the UK’s finest cellists in Raphael Wallfisch, and the wonderful tenor James Gilchrist, one of the best in his field world-wide, and top string quartets such as the Arcadia, the Quartetto di Cremona, the Maxwells and the Castalians are regular visitors. The list is endless. The quality is extraordinary.

There is reason for Kelso to feel very proud that they can welcome such an array of international superstars to their small town in the Borders. Never having been heard anywhere else in Scotland, Yu Kosuge deserves a warm appreciative welcome at Kelso Old Parish Church on Friday, October 19. Tickets £14 are available from www.kelsomusicsociety.com.