August 21, 2019

Hurray for Haydn

Tomoko’s first commercial album includes a piece by Haydn. It was a good starting choice for Tomoko.  Haydn laid the groundwork for so many musicians, just as Tomoko’s first CD album led to ten more CDs of her performances. Several points in Haydn’s life also resonate for Tomoko.

To start with, Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria, which bordered onto Hungary. Tomoko and Desi wed in Austria, and Desi is Hungarian. 

Haydn’s family was musical. His father was a folk musician, and the family sang together. Tomoko’s father played the violin as a hobby, and Tomoko liked to sing. Tomoko’s brother played organ and piano, and Tomoko followed eagerly.

Haydn started his career as a freelance musician as did Tomoko. He was a music teacher, played the organ at a chapel, and was an accompanist. Likewise, as a high schoolers Tomoko accompanied singers, she taught piano early on, and she played the organ for the local Catholic church while in college. 

When Haydn was building his musical reputation, he gained aristocratic patronage. While studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, one of the board members paid Tomoko’s tuition at one point so she could continue her studies. 

Haydn’s concerts were very popular, as are Tomoko’s. Unlike Haydn though, Tomoko’s concerts include performances with others – as well as solo playing by her friends and students. 

While he lived in Vienna, one of Haydn’s friends was Mozart, and was very impressed with Mozart’s work. Tomoko too was very influenced by Mozart and it’s one of her favorite composers to perform. 

Later, Haydn met and taught a young Beethoven. Similarly, some of Tomoko’s students have become professional musicians and composers in their own right. As for Beethoven himself, Tomoko also considers him one of her favorite composers. 

No wonder that Tomoko is in harmony with Haydn.

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