UAE - Renowned Japanese pianist Marie Kiyone is all set to mesmerise Dubai on the weekend with an evening of classical music presented by the SAMIT Event Group as part of its VIP Classical initiative. Highlighting the initiative's role in fostering cultural diversity in the UAE, Alexandra Miteran, CEO, and Founder of SAMIT Event Group expressed her gratitude towards embassies of different nations in the UAE for the success of the VIP Classical series.

"As I reflect on the outstanding success of our past concerts, it's evident that our choice to initiate the monthly VIP Classical series was undeniably a wise decision,” she said. “It's a real honour to recognise the enthusiastic support we've received from various embassies, emphasising the crucial significance of blending different cultures within the vibrant mosaic of the UAE's cultural scene — an essential element of the UAE's vision, where every nation is equally embraced."

As a part of its continued effort to expand Dubai's classical music community and enhance the city's cultural and artistic tapestry, SAMIT Event Group is bringing Kiyone for an exclusive concert on September 24 at Dubai Opera, where the celebrated artist will present a captivating selection of compositions by Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt.

City Times spoke with Marie Kiyone ahead of the event to know more about her music journey and about the treat that awaits classical music enthusiasts on the day of the concert.

What made you gain interest in classical music? What do you like about classical music?

I can recreate the art left over from a long time ago through myself; that makes me excited.

Why did you choose to study the piano for classical music? What makes the piano different from the other instruments for you?

Of course, pianists also play other instruments, but mainly, the piano has a lot of possibilities to show and express dynamically, even by solo. That’s something special. As the only musician in my family, I got very interested in the piano when I was a child, and from the very beginning, somehow, my dream was to be a pianist.

Do you have any special memory from any of your recitals?

Each recital has many memories, but for example, Chopin’s Birthday Concert at the freezing church where Chopin played as an organist in February, the real winter in Poland, or my last recital at Warsaw Philharmonic Hall just before I went back to Japan after my study in Poland for over eight years. These were very special, and the atmosphere and Polish audience greatly inspired me.

Which was the most challenging score for you to learn?

It’s difficult to say, but if it’s technically Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3, which I learnt in high school as my first concerto experience.

How was the pandemic period for you as a pianist?

It was a difficult time to perform in front of an audience, but I was lucky that I could get the chance to come back on the stage early. I couldn’t go abroad from Japan for three years, or to Europe for four years, which was quite long and totally unexpected in my life. So I’m very happy to come to Dubai and perform.

As a teacher at Showa University of Music, how do you think teaching has been different in terms of learning for you?

I like to teach, but while doing so, I find that I am also teaching myself, not only the students.

What would you advise aspiring pianists interested in classical music?

Please see the world, not only the country, classical music, or art. Performing is a kind of communication with the audience, so don’t be shy to show your personality.

Tell us about your upcoming performance at the Dubai Opera. What can fans expect?

The program will consist of music from the romantic era, especially Chopin and Liszt. It would be a big contrast between deep melancholic songs and virtuosity. I hope the people will enjoy it and be excited.

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