Japanese Pianists Win 3rd, 4th Prizes in Brussels Competition

Society Culture

Brussels, May 29 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Keigo Mukawa and Tomoki Sakata won the third and fourth prize for piano, respectively, in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, a prestigious international music contest, on Saturday.

The contest for the piano part in the music competition was originally scheduled to be held in 2020, but was postponed to this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. To reduce the risk of infection, the number of finalists was halved to six this time, and their performances were held behind closed doors.

"I'm really happy" to win the third prize, Mukawa, 28, who is from the city of Tokai, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, told reporters. "My international career will develop from here," he said. But Mukawa also suggested that playing without an audience was difficult. "Performing with no audience present is different from the music I create while directly feeling the reaction of spectators."

Mukawa studies at Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris in the French capital after attending the Tokyo University of the Arts. In 2019, he won the second prize at Concours International Long-Thibaud-Crespin.

Sakata, 27, who also attended the Tokyo University of the Arts, now studies at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media Hannover in Germany. He won the first prize in the 2016 Franz Liszt International Piano Competition. Sakata is from Nagoya, the capital of Aichi.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press