Providing a rare treat for music aficionados, the ambassador of Austria, Brigitta Baha hosted a classical piano recital by world famous pianist, Jun Kanno, who will perform a series of concerts in the country. The concerts have been planned in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC); the embassy of Japan and the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The event was held at her residence and attended by friends and colleagues. Addressing her guests the ambassador said that Mr Kanno was a friend and she was delighted that he had agreed to come to Pakistan and play. She thanked those who had collaborated with her embassy and said a few words about the artiste before the programme began.
The renowned pianist said he was happy to be in Pakistan and recalled his first meeting with Ambassador Baha and the Austrian musicians he had played during an event in Austria. He began by playing Mozart’s Fantasy in d minor KV 397; and Piano Sonata in A major KV 331; followed by Beethoven’s ‘Grande Sonata Pathetique’ in c minor Op.13. A composition by Ludwig Nussbichler – Phantasiestuck (2017 World Premiere) was next and the last two pieces were by Frederic Chopin. He concluded with one of his own compositions – from what I understood – and came back for an encore.
From the applause and general response it could be seen that the guests were very appreciative and happy to be listening to such an eminent pianist right here in Pakistan! ‘Bravo’ and ‘well played’ could be heard every now and again from those who know and understand classical compositions. I am not very clued up on this kind of music but it was pleasant to hear and a far cry from what the young generations call most of the ‘music’ these days!
Later during dinner, the guests interacted with Mr Kanno - and of course photographs were taken – and everyone agreed that it had been an evening to remember.
A graduate of University of Toho in Tokyo, Jun Kanno was invited to France by Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod, wife of the famous composer, who became his teacher at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. Winner of prestigious prizes, he was subsequently appointed as Germaine Mounier’s assistant and completed his studies with Vlado Perlemuter and Gyorgy Sebok.
Jun Kanno has played with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Berlin, the National Orchestra of Cracow, the Chamber Orchestra of Salzburg, the Chamber Orchestra of Prague, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Japan Philharmonic, and the Korean National Orchestra.
He lives in Paris, where he has given many recitals and is regularly invited to perform in principal musical cities. He is a regular guest artist with the Mozarteum Quartet of Salzburg. With Karlheinz Franke, first violin of the Mozarteum Quartet, he played all over Europe, under the name of ‘the Mozarteum Duo Salzburg.’
Jun Kanno performs regularly with the Vienna String Quartet, composed of top players from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1996 to 2007 he was Professor at the Juan Pedro Carrero Music School in Barcelona, where his pedagogical skills were highly appreciated. Prestigious institutions invite him regularly; he is often invited as judge at international competitions and frequently holds master classes all over the world. His recordings released in France, Switzerland and Japan, include works from Bach to Messiaen.