May 4, 2013

Performance and Recognition

On April 24, 2013, the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women developed and approved a resolution recognizing the contributions of Tomoko Hagiwara.

The commission noted her illustrious career as a celebrated pianist in war-ravaged Japan, who was awarded a music scholarship for the University of Tokyo, that nation’s top university. They mentioned her debut at the San Francisco Symphony, and was acclaimed at the Long-Thibaud international piano competition in Paris and the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition in Brussels. They confirmed that she has created over 50 piano performances, 13 CD recordings, and mentored over 400 gifted piano students. They concluded that she made it her life’s work to share the joy and serenity that music offers its listeners, include to homeless individuals in a Project Homeless Connect event.
In her acceptance speech, Tomoko said that she was honored to receive this distinguished award and to be among ladies and gentleman of such an accomplishment. She noted, “After graduating from the University of Tokyo Music Department, I came to the United States as a foreign exchange student. If I had stayed in Japan, especially at that time, there would have been less than zero opportunities for any woman in the arts. So I had to get out.” She concluded, “This award is a big milestone for me. Again thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.”

On May 26th at the Conservatory of Music, Tomoko will be performing with her current Conservatory students as well as students from 30 or 40 years ago – and her daughter. These performances reflect a fascinating variety of backgrounds and careers: from middle schoolers to near-retiree, from a boxer to a physicist. Everyone is invited.

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