February 27, 2020

Waltzing Through Life

Among the genres of classical music that delights Tomoko is the waltz. That love also reflects Tomoko’s enjoyment of dancing. Even her high school’s physical education program included dance-like activity. 

Waltzes, in particular, have played a significant role in Tomoko’s life.

Tomoko met her future husband at a Hungarian society ball in San Francisco. Desy was sitting with a group of bachelors when he was introduced to Tomoko, although Tomoko wasn’t looking for a husband. Her first impression of him was positive though. “He is the most handsome fellow of the group,” she decided, “and he dances well,” as she recalled the ballroom waltzes.

Tomoko’s daughter Beata also enjoys waltzes. Tomoko remembers when Beata wanted to quit skating at age nine. Tomoko aw that the rink had group lessons. Beata thought that group dancing was fun. “I love waltzing,” she said. Beata went on to win medals for her ice dancing, and both performs and coaches ice dancing. 

Tomoko has played the piano waltzes of several composers: Chopin, Liszt, Schubert, and Poulenc.
Among the waltzes that Tomoko enjoys playing is Shostakovich’s “Valse-Scherzo.” Russian Dmitri Shostakovich was one of the major composers of the twentieth century. Even as a child, Dmitra showed a gift for the piano and music in general. At age 13 he entered the Petrograd Music Conservatory, and he wrote his first symphony at age 19. Much of his work was theatrical, and he was known for his film music. Nevertheless, he also wrote for the piano, including waltzes. 

Tomoko’s performances of waltzes showcase her flowing movement and romantic undertones.