During an orchestra concert in Japan’s capital, Gakushin University alumni were proud to present a special guest violist. Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito, armed with a viola made from the Great East Japan Earthquake debris, performed Franz Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre on Sunday night.
The viola used by the crown prince was made by violin maker Muneyuki Nakazawa, as part of his relief project for the victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The violin craftsman began using debris and driftwood materials found in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture in late 2011. Nakazawa’s finished instruments will be passed along and used by other musicians to show the spirit of solidarity. A part of the pine tree that survived the tsunami was also used for the viola, which Nakazawa completed in May this year.
Nakazawa’s relief project did not just catch the attention of philanthropists. A finished product even impressed Mexican Adrian Justus and Yuriko Kuronuma, when the two violinists came to visit Japan in December 2011. “When we perform with these special violins, strangely enough, Shostakovich’s first minor part sounds like a soul-stirring requiem, which I have never thought of the piece as before,” said the Mexico-based Kuronuma. The performance at the Ikebukuro District was also attended by the royal family – Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, and the prince’s wife, Crown Princess Masako.
[via Asahi Shimbun]