Ikuko Kawai is an internationally acclaimed violinist: elegant and caring

Ikuko Kawai is an internationally acclaimed violinist: elegant and caring

Sarah Deschamps and Hiroshi Saito

Modern Tokyo News


Ikuko Kawai is an internationally acclaimed violinist who was born in Japan and she also does work to highlight poverty and other important global issues. While the main focus of her career is firmly based on the classical field this doesn’t prevent this talented lady from venturing into other forms of music. Therefore, the exuberance and stylish nature of Ikuko Kawai can transcend many styles of music.

The broad nature of her talents apply to acclaimed violinist, professor in the department of music at Osaka University, composer, human rights works, and other areas. Ikuko Kawai fuses her amazing violin talents with techniques in theatrical art and the creativity of her performance is a wonder to behold.

In the past Ikuko Kawai performed under Chung Myung-Whim who is a world famous conductor. Also, while many famous orchestras in Japan have been graced by her stunning ability, the same applies to the international arena. Therefore, just like Kaori Muraji who is an internationally acclaimed classical guitarist from Japan, it is clear that many talented classical performers from this nation are in the forefront of classical music and setting amazing standards.

Not surprisingly, the gracefulness of Ikuko Kawai inspired the figure skater Michelle Kwan who performed to “Red Violin” during her skating program. The natural correlation between the artistic nature of ice skating and the attributes of Ikuko Kawai who performs with so much grace and panache, meant that the music worked perfectly for Michelle Kwan. Also, the international community throughout the world who witnessed this ice skating championship was also blessed because the talents of Ikuko Kawai became known to new fans.

Another important angle which highlights the caring nature of Ikuko Kawai is her involvement in human rights work. In the past she visited refugees from Myanmar (Burma) in Thailand and clearly the impact of this experience opened her eyes to the reality of poverty, international wars, lack of opportunities, and so forth. Her visit worked wonders both ways because in a world of beauty, extravagance, and freedom for many; you also have another world of oppression, alienation, lack of opportunities, and other negatives.

Ikuko Kawai began her UNHCR work in 2007 and her visit to refugees from Myanmar, raising funds, drawing international attention to the crisis in Darfur, and other important areas, meant that this lady of gracefulness was now also connecting with “the real world” which remains distant for the majority of people. Children first performed and then Ikuko Kawai followed and by the end it was clear that the impact worked both ways.

Ikuko Kawai commented that the “Children’s eyes were shining when they were listening to my violin. Inspired by their vivid reaction, I really enjoyed playing in front of them.” She further commented that “Through my violin performance I wanted refugee children to feel something beyond their daily life in the limited space. I wanted to get closer to them and encourage them. I am glad to feel that we were able to communicate through music”.

Since this time Ikuko Kawai continues to build bridges by performing with her accustomed grace and interacting with people who are less fortunate. This talented individual is a great ambassador for the classical world and for Japan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iUBMOVptrU Ikuko Kawai and “Red Violin”



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