Yu Nitahara graduated with honours from the Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai) for both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees, having studied piano under Professors Michiko Kasuya-Ohno and Akira Eguchi.
Yu has performed widely throughout his native Japan as well as in other Asian and European countries. He has made appearances in such major festivals as the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany and the Zilina Spring Festival in Slovakia. He has performed in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Groβer Saal of the Mozarteum, Salzburg and has appeared as soloist with the Morocco Philhamonic Orchestra, the Slovakia Philhamonic Orchestra, Gstaad Menuhin Festival Orchestra, the Salzburg Orchestra Soloists, Kyusyu Symphony Orchestra and the Geidai Philhamonic Orchestra in Japan. He also enjoys performing as a chamber musician.
Yu received a full scholarship from the Japanese Cultural Affairs and Meiji Yasuda Cultural Foundation to complete his formal studies under Professor Pavel Gililov at University Mozarteum Salzburg, where he now works.
SEMI FINAL PROGRAM THEME
Theme: ‘Music born out of grief‘
-Mozart: Piano Sonata No.8 A minor KV.310
-Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
This program seems there is no common point between these 2 pieces, but both pieces were composed after the loss of important person around composers. Mozart lost his mother and Mussorgsky lost his great friend and painter named Hartmann. It is very interesting for me that they composed these pieces from similar background, but the pieces have completely different characters.
Mozart A minor Sonata is a really tragic, sad, depress and sometimes angry. Even the 2nd movement, F major and con espressione, has agitated and uncontrolled moments in the development. I can say this Sonata has very personal and honest emotions by Mozart everywhere in the piece. Alfred Einstein, musicologist, said in his book, “It is a most personal expression, one may look in vain in all the works of other composers of this period for anything similar”. (Mozart, His Character, His Work). It is clear for me the death of his mother was effected very much for this sonata.
On the other hand, Mussorgsky was depressed very much by the death of Hartmann (we can find it from his letters), but Pictures at an Exhibition is very positive. He got inspired from paintings in Hartmann’s Posthumous Exhibition and he concentrated to express the world of each paintings. I feel somehow he avoided to put his personal emotions.
These ways of composing and dedication are very different. I try to discover these different through my semifinal program.
2021 Competition Performances
2021 Competition Repertoire
V. Les collines d’Anacapri
VI. Des pas sur la neige
VII. Ce qu’a vu le vent d’Ouest
VIII. La fille aux cheveux de lin
I. Capriccio. Presto energico
II. Intermezzo. Andante
III. Capriccio. Allegro passionato
IV. Intermezzo. Adagio
V. Intermezzo. Andante con grazia ed intimissimo sentimento
VI. Intermezzo. Andantino teneramente
VII. Capriccio. Allegro agitato
II. Leggiero e legato
Semi Final Round
Semi Final Round
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Andante cantabile con expressione
[Promenade I] Allegro giusto, nel modo russico; senza allegrezza, ma poco sostenuto
I. The Gnome
[Promenade II]. Moderato commodo assai e con delicatezza
II. The Old Castle
[Promenade III]. Moderato non tanto, pesamente
[Promenade IV]. Tranquillo
V. The Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks in their Shells
VI. Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuÿle
[Promenade V] Allegro giusto, nel modo russico; poco sostenuto
VII. The Market at Limoges (The Great News)
IX. The Hut on Hens’ Legs
X. The Great Gate of Kiev
I. Prélude. Vif
II. Fugue. Allegro moderato
III. Forlane. Allegretto
IV. Rigaudon. Assez vif
V. Menuet. Allegro moderato
VI. Toccata. Vif
III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace – Trio. Un poco più lento
IV. Rondo. Allegretto
IX. Abshied (Farewell)