Korea’s favorite Japanese pianist is back

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Korea’s favorite Japanese pianist is back

Of the 10 Japanese celebrities who attracted the most hits on a local Web site this week, only one is middle-aged: New Age pianist Yuhki Kuramoto.
Since the 1986 release of the first recording of his plaintive music, Kuramoto, now 52, has become one of the most beloved foreign performers in Korea. His concerts here have all sold out quickly, starting with the first one in 1999.
Celebrating the recent release of his latest album, “Pure Piano,” Kuramoto is again paying a visit to Korea, this time touring around the peninsula. Following his two concerts earlier this week in Jeonju and Gwangju in Jeolla province, Kuramoto is scheduled to play at the renovated Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday; tickets have, again, sold out. But he’s having a “special encore” concert on June 1 at the same venue.
Kuramoto, who writes and arranges all of his songs, builds his melodies out of a minimal number of notes. He is known for his soothing and lyrical tunes, so much so that his work has been used as in-flight music by a Japanese airline.
Kuramoto began his musical career in his childhood, when his favorite composers were Chopin and Rachmaninov. After he decided to devote himself to music, Kuramoto dipped into various styles from the classics to pop, finding much inspiration in his travels.
For his concert in Seoul, Mr. Kuramoto will present selected pieces from his nine albums, both solo and with the Seoul Classical Players. After the Seoul performance, Mr. Kuramoto visits Suwon, Gyeonggi province, on Tuesday, followed by Busan on Thursday and Daegu on May 29.

by Chun Su-jin

Tickets for the June 1 concert start from 30,000 won ($25) and go up to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 751-9606 or visit the Web site at www.credia.co.kr.
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