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35th anniversary of Sister City relationship

3rd November 2008

Free classical concert to celebrate 35th anniversary of Sister City relationship

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Christchurch and Kurashiki in Japan, acclaimed Japanese pianist Kazumasa Matsumoto will be giving a free piano recital in the Christchurch Cathedral. Mr Matsumoto is part of a group of over 80 people from Kurashiki who are coming to Christchurch, at their own cost, as a citizens delegation to celebrate the anniversary.

The Kurashiki-Christchurch Sister City relationship was formalised in 1973. It was the first Sister City link between Japan and New Zealand, and since then the two cities have developed a very active relationship.

Kazumasa Matsumoto is a well known pianist in Japan, and has collected prizes at a number of highly regarded national and international piano competitions. These include taking away first prize in the 48th National Students Music Competition at the age of 15 in 1994, the 7th Japan Classical Music Competition, and the 67th Japan Music Competition in 1998.

He is currently studying at the Berlin University of the Arts, and regularly gives concerts both in Germany and in Japan. He has also performed in the USA, Czech Republic and China. Mr Matsumoto's concert at the Christchurch Cathedral will be his only public performance during his trip to New Zealand. At the concert he will perform on a Steinway concert grand piano and his repertoire will include Beethoven's piano sonata No.23 in F Minor, opus 57, (also known as Appassionata) and Frederic Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat major, opus 53 (known as Heroic Polonaise). He can also take requests, if they are received prior to the concert.

The concert will be held on Thursday November 13th in the Christchurch Cathedral. The doors will open at 6.30pm and the performance will start at 7pm. Guests will be asked for a gold coin donation, which will go to the Christchurch Cathedral. During their four-day tour of Christchurch the Kurashiki citizens delegation will also be attending a mayoral reception, a celebratory tree planting and visiting the A and P show.

Reviews of Kazumasa Matsumoto:

"Kazumasa Matsumoto is certainly a "different" pianist. There are so many pianists out there who just play the musical notes, but he gives the notes life and the reason for its existence. He is not only "the best pianist" but he is a man who believes in himself as Kazumasa Matsumoto with conviction. Therefore, he is also an artist." Pascal Devoyon (Professor of Piano and world-renown pianist - biography on Mr Devoyon http://www.pascaldevoyon.com/devoyon/bioen.html)

"I remember your playing in last year's Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition very well. From the outset your personal involvement and fine technique impressed me deeply. Your performance of Shostakovich's Prelude & Fugue in D Minor was the best I have ever heard. I am happy that your fine performances of Mozart & Rachmaninov will appear on CD and will impress many new listeners."

Paul Badura-Skoda (Eminent Austrian pianist, music editor and a soloist with the world's most prestigious orchestras - biography http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Badura-Skoda-Paul.htm)


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