Throughout her life, Tomoko has made friends because of music. “I enjoy other people’s lives and challenges,” says Tomoko. “Through music I meet so many people.”
More generally, Tomoko explains how music brings people together. “People can welcome music anytime. Music is powerful. I don’t have to say anything."
In college in Tokyo, Tomoko had fun with the other music majors. “We pianists were all together and are still good friends. We would study in the morning, and practice the rest of the day.”
When Tomoko came to the the United States, she knew very few people, but music provided a way to make friends at the Conservatory of San Francisco. Tomoko would also be invited to her colleagues’ homes for the holidays. She also remembers going with a couple of Conservatory girl friends to visit Pablo Casals at Arizona State University, where a library was being dedicated to him. Tomoko now sees parents chatting together at the Conservatory where she teaches. “You have a place to share, and can help each other,” Tomoko recalls in her decades of experience there.
Tomoko’s students sometimes contact her years after they have grown up or moved. It was their continued friendship that led to the honorific concert in May 2013. Tomoko also remembers her own teachers, and remet an old professor in London, 40 years after studying with him.
Tomoko has also made friends with other professional musicians. For instance, Lili Kraus was a concert pianist and master class teacher. Tomoko met her twice in Japan, and Lili said to Tomoko: II have to learn from you about the piano.” They shared their love of music and became good friends.
Music also brought Tomoko and her husband together; they met at a Hungarian dance party!