Japan Summer Blog 2012
Today was a special day. I visited the Min-On Concert Association, which is an organization dedicated to broadening the appreciation of music around the world. Min-On literally means "people`s music," and the organization`s mission is focused on finding ways to unite people through music. They carry out that mission in Japan by organizing concerts by some of the world`s best musicians, maintaining an extensive lending library of scores and recordings, and running a public museum that includes an amazing instrument collection. The instrument collection has a particular emphasis on pianos, dating back to the the early 18th century.
When I visited the museum today, the curator gave me a wonderful personal tour of the entire museum. We spent the bulk of the time in the piano room, where I was treated to a demonstration of each of the instruments, including a Strohm, a Walter, a Graf, a Stein, and an Erard. All the greats. Each was in remarkable condition, and I even had the chance to play the Graf! I was also shown Min-On`s remarkable collection of mechanical instruments, some of which are over 100 years old and still operational. Again I was drawn to the pianos. They had many different kinds of reproducing pianos from the early part of the twentieth century. I often talk about these instruments in my classes, but this was the first time I had had the opportunity to see and hear them in operation.
Throughout the entire visit, my hosts at the Min-On Museum were incredibly gracious and generous. They gave me unprecedented access to the instruments, answered my many questions, and showed that they take their mission seriously. Tokyo is lucky to have such an organization in its midst.
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