'It’s wonderful to perform here in Dubai': Japanese violinist Daishin Kashimoto

The musician performed on February 8 at the InClassica International Music Festival, organised by SAMIT Event Group

By CT Desk

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Published: Tue 12 Mar 2024, 3:39 PM

On February 8, Dubai welcomed the acclaimed Japanese violinist Daishin Kashimoto, First Prize winner at the 1994 Cologne International Violin Competition, 1996 Fritz Kreisler Competition, and 1996 Long-Thibaud International Competition, and Artistic Director of the Le Pont Music Festival, who arrived in the emirate for the first of two concerts that he was scheduled to perform as part of the InClassica International Music Festival, organised by SAMIT Event Group.

Held from February 1-15, this latest edition of InClassica saw appearances by some of the biggest classical music stars of our time, and Kashimoto was just the latest in a long list of maestros.

For his two concerts, the Japanese master teamed up with Italian pianist Enrico Pace, with the second recital, which took place on the 10th of February, also seeing the addition of Armenian cellist Alexander Chaushian. We sat down with Kashimoto for an engaging discussion about his time in Dubai, and his experience at InClassica 2024.

Is this your first visit to Dubai? What are your thoughts about the city so far?

It’s my first time in Dubai, and it’s such an amazing, exciting city…a really great place to be in general! I’m here with my kids as well so we’ve had a lot of fun. Since I have two concerts, we’ve been able to stay for a few days which is very nice, and even though I was very busy because we were rehearsing a lot so I didn't get to see much, but you can still feel the vibes and the atmosphere. InClassica itself has been very nice as well. There’s a lot of friends here that I know and it’s been wonderful; it’s always great to see wonderful musicians and it’s always a pleasure to collaborate with such amazing artists.

What do you think about the work that InClassica is doing to promote classical music in this region?

I think it's very exciting! Classical music has survived for hundreds of years already and there’s a real reason why. It’s definitely something very worthwhile, and it’s a language that everybody understands, an international language that brings people together. I always say that music is wonderful because there are no boundaries in music; we all play together on stage. Tonight we will have a Japanese, an Armenian and an Italian playing German music in Dubai! There’s no boundary whatsoever, it’s fantastic! And I’m sure it will continue to grow and develop here like everywhere else in the world. It takes a long time, it doesn’t happen from one day to the next, it always takes a long time, but it always stays.

How are the collaborations with your fellow musicians going?

Well, I’ve known Enrico for a while, we’ve met many times, even in festivals, but we’ve never played together so it was wonderful to get the chance to play together at last. Alexander, I know very, very well, for many years since we were boys. We played regularly together so it was like being home there in a sense, really wonderful.

Can you tell us a little bit about the programme you’ve presented here in Dubai?

Well it’s an interesting programme, very varied, and then there’s the pieces by the Composer-in-Residence Alexey Shor. It’s very interesting music. There are folk-y elements inside, and a lot of excitement and emotions – excited emotions, if you will. It was fun to do and it’s wonderful that he has so many works being played here in a span of two weeks! It’s a lot and it’s fantastic. His style doesn’t feel too contemporary, which of course makes it easier for us. It always has a kind of melody and harmony so it’s easier to grasp then, let’s say, a normal piece of contemporary music. Especially somewhere like here in Dubai, I think it’s probably a good idea to have music like this where you can hear it and understand it quickly, and it’s all about pure emotions.

How did you find the audiences here in Dubai, especially when compared to those in Europe for instance?

I think every audience is different, even inside Europe. Every day it’s a different audience with a different vibe, but from what I felt, here there were a lot of concentrated people. The programme was very intense so it’s not one you can just kind of relax and listen to, so people were really concentrating and listening I felt. There's an energy that came back from the audience to the stage which always helps us musicians. We’re playing music but without the audience, and the hall as well, there’s no music, so it’s always a give and take from both sides. It’s wonderful to have this feedback, and it’s a wonderful audience I think, with a lot of knowledgeable people.

Now that InClassica is behind you, what’s coming up next on the horizon?

Oh there are always a lot of things happening. Now I go back home to Berlin, and I have some work there with my orchestra, and then we have some other concerts going on, and some recordings… lots of different things. I would also love to come back to Dubai at some point! I hope I’ll be reinvited! It’s wonderful to be here, wonderful to perform here in Dubai, and I do hope I can be back soon.

For more information about the InClassica International Music Festival, visit the official website at inclassica.com.

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