A Piano Recital by Yumi Suehiro comments by Greg Henry Waters

A Concert of Contemporary Music

At Lehman College Recital Hall at 12.30 p.m. Bronx, New York City

On June 11th I heard a piano recital by Yumi a special person with a special talent for modern music. Never ever have I heard such a performance of modern music. It was so complete and full of real music that it was such a joy to be there and be a part of something wonderful and new without any airs of pleasing the pubic, just pleasing modern music.

I have for years, too many, to try to get musicians to play my music but they have always had some good reason not to perform them. So to see and meet someone who is not afraid to perform new unheard of music, people have never heard before is really something.

This wasn't a program where the concert opens up with a new piece and then the orchestra goes into the traditional program music of Mozart etc. No Yumi stayed with the 20th Century composers through-out the entire hour program and all from memory too, I might ad, which was amazing in itself. She was so much at home in this music.

The composers were Bach, Copland, Alex Burtzos 2011, Bela Bartok 1920, A Sriabin 1911 and G Ligeti 1985. She would take a few minute break between each piece. Bach was really out of place in this concert.

Copland's Piece (Passacaglia 1922) was not a traditional piece of his, but real art music not a stupid cowboy theme that he liked to use to sell his music. It had some very low notes and the beginning without any harmony which I enjoyed. I love the lower notes on the piano. It was a perfect piece to start the program to get ready for Burtzos and Bartok.

Alex Burtzos' Football (2011)which I would like to call Soccer, for it sounded like the themes were running all over the place like in a soccer game. Of course there were clashes and other thunder but some very gentile sections too. What was interesting all these pieces were sectional and did not have the traditional Sonata form of classical composers. One could not always follow the form of the piece but this is what makes modern music interesting for me.

Then came Bartok which was the longest piece in the program and maybe the best piece if one wanted to compare each composer to the other which really is not necessary for all had very special moments.

Improvisations on Hungarian peasant songs Op.20 (1920)

It had 8 sections and one could not always tell when the music moved from one section to the other. I thought maybe there could have been an electric sign that would change the numbers of the movement as the piece moved along. I liked this piece but do not always like Bartok's music sometimes especially when it gets so percussive and explosive like a war is going on. For me music should be gentle and interesting not really program life but glorify it with all its faults of the human condition.

Scriabin, Sonata No. 7 Op. 64 1911

I have always loved Scriabin's music and at times wish I could hear more of it for I don't think it is performed too often. This Sonata was very thick and full of music with great sounds coming out of the piano. I thought too that it was too bad that the piano was not a nine foot grand it could of exploited Yumi's thunder more when the music got loud and thick with lots of clusters. This piece was not a short piece but not as long as Bartok's. Not sure what this means.

What also impressed me about Yumi was her physical features and very impressive gentle woman with her long full expansive pony tail being there on her back. She looked like a woman of extreme strength almost like an athlete.

The last piece by Gyorgy Ligeti, Etude No. 6 Book 1 1985 was also a piece of music that fit in with all the other compositions. Yumi spoke of the meter changes in this piece 3/8/ 5/8 7/8/ 11/8 etc. But she did such a smooth job of it one could not really tell when the changes were being made. There was some thunder and lighting in this piece too but not too long in fact maybe the shortest piece of the program.

I cannot write more about this program one has to hear it to really appreciate the work and accomplishment of the performance of Yumi Suehiro, hopefully in the future a name to remember.

I hope one day you can hear this fine pianist perform. (Yumi Suehiro)

Sincerely, Greg Henry Waters

Artist of Music and other things!

June 15, 2013 TENRI CULTURAL INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK 43A WEST 13TH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10011 TELEPHONE 212.645.2800 FAX 212.727.3234 EMAIL tci@tenri.org

Bio: mailto:yumisuehiro@hotmail.com?subject=Your Recital

Born in Osaka, Japan, Pianist Yumi Suehiro began studying piano at age 6, and marimba a year later. In Japan, Ms. Suehiro won numerous national and international competitions, including the top prize at the Kobe International Competition as the youngest winner. In 2008, she performed Copland’s Piano Variations at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie) as an AMTL Audition Winner, and at Steinway Hall, presented by the Amati Music Festival. She also was the featured marimba player in Latin percussionist Victor Rendon's recording of “Fiesta Percussiva”.

An undergraduate scholarship student at Lehman College, she graduated magna cum laude, studying piano with Peter Vinograde, percussion with Morris Lang, and composition with John Corigliano.  She was featured there as a soloist on both piano and marimba, playing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Rosauro's Marimba Concerto.

Ms. Suehiro received her masters degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music as a student of Zenon Fishbein and Peter Vinograde. While at Manhattan, she won second prize in the school’s 2010 concerto competition (John Harbison’s Concerto), and in 2011 was chosen to perform Richard Wilson’s “Flashback” for Pierre Aimard’s master class.