Tomoko has traveled several times to Europe, and one of her special cities is Vienna. No wonder – with its musical history. For instance, Tomoko visited Beethoven’s house in Vienna, which was made into a museum.
Vienna is sometimes called the capital of classical music, largely because it was the hub of 19th century musical composition and performance. Music was a booming industry then, attracting such luminaries as Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Strauss, and Berg.
Several of Tomoko's favorite composers, teachers and performers were connected with Vienna.
Mozart spent much of his life in Vienna, starting with an invitation for him to play a concert at the Habsburg family Schonbrunn Palace.
German composer Ludwig van Beethoven. He lived several years in Vienna, and was largely influenced by the Viennese classical tradition of Mozart and Haydn.
Finnish composer Jean Sibelius fantasized studying in Vienna under Brahms or Bruckner. Both of them rejected Sibelius, but he was able to study informally in Vienna and networked with musicians in the city. Sibelius wrote to his family: “Vienna is all laughter and waltzes.”
Tomoko studied under Adolph Baller, and she earned money as a page-turner for him when she was a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Baller was sent at age eight to Vienna to study the piano; he debuted with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at age thirteen.
One of Tomoko’s earliest musical inspirations was pianist Lili Kraus. Tomoko collected her LPs as a youngster, and crossed paths with Lili several times. In her early career, Lili was a professional performer and professor at the Vienna Academy. She also met and married Austrian philosopher Otto Mandl in Vienna.
Vienna continues to hum with music, offering a wide range of music: from classical to progressive jazz and rock concerts. Although Tomoko doesn’t travel abroad much now, her mental memories of Vienna still roam in her mind.