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"Remember what music means to you"

Violinist Hiroki Kasai is on his way to discovering what kind of musician he wants to be.

Background info:

When did you graduate and from where?

2021, Royal Academy of Music, Bachelor of Music.

Who were your “main” teachers in terms of influence?

Professor Rodney Friend and Professor Aiko Goto.

Where do you live?

Since this summer, I have been living in a small town between Geneva and Lausanne!

What are your plans for the future?

After four wonderful years with Prof. Rodney Friend at the Royal Academy of Music, I have just started my studies at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland. I still have no idea what kind of opportunities will arise and where life could lead me, which is a frightening, yet exciting prospect! As a student, I am still on the journey of learning lots of incredible repertoires, exploring chamber music and playing with friends, performing in young professional orchestras, participating in masterclasses, and taking part in competitions. Whether my life leads me to be a soloist, chamber musician, or orchestral player in the future, I believe that challenging myself in many different ways will develop my musicality further and deepen my understanding of music and violin playing.

What would be the ideal path forward?

My reason for playing the violin is that I just love the violin, and I cannot live without it! That said, for me, the audience is everything. The energy that I receive from the audience always leaves me with an indescribable feeling after performances. My ideal path forward is to share music with as many people around the world in whatever capacity I end up doing so.

Recently I have found a passion for chamber music. One of my dreams would be to play chamber music with as many people as possible.

What are your thoughts about the current professional perspectives for young graduates?

Of course, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there are many uncertainties, and as young professionals, we are living in one of the hardest periods. Although there might not be as many opportunities as there were pre-pandemic in terms of traditional performance practice, I believe there is still a lot of room for us to be creative and to find opportunities available outside of what we were previously used to.

Any advice you would offer to the ones graduating next year?

My advice to the upcoming graduating class is to be aware of what music means to you and why you play an instrument. Whether you’re considering becoming a freelancer, studying further, or auditioning for a position in an orchestra, there will always be challenges.

That said, I believe if we are aware of why we make music, we can always overcome difficulties. I had times when I thought of giving up the violin because I was afraid of failures and facing the reality, yet I have been able to overcome challenges and continue playing the violin because I reminded myself how much I love music.


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