Yuzuko Horigome, the last Olympus Goddess

A Testimony to the Violinist by Daniel Tytgat [French]  [English]  [Japanese]
Born on December 4/1957, Yuzuko began playing the piano at the age of four and the violin at the age of five with Ryosaku Kubota.

In 1975 she entered the TOHO GAKUEN School of music in Tokyo under the direction of Toshiya ETO.

In 1980 she ended this masterclass and directly went to compete in the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Brussels, the most difficult and praised competition in the world from where came out, before the second world war, David Oistrakh in 1937 and Guilels in 1938 (the competition was at that time named "Concours Eugene Ysaye") and, after, from 1951, Kogan, Fleisher, Ashkenazy, Senofsky, Michlin, Frager, Bezverkhny, Laredo, Afanasiev, El Bacha, Nai-Yuan Hu, Toda, Suwanai, Repin, Znaider, Braley, Volondat and others.

Yuzuko Horigome won in 1980 the first prize against other fantastic competitors like Zazofsky, Shimizu, Tsukahara and a lot of others.

From the half final 6 names were coming out the lot of the competitors but during the final only one name was the only possible vote. Her mastery, her technical perfection, her beautiful large sound always natural, her conception and respect of the works, her musicality were a source of ravishment to everybody.

An incredible salve of applause concretized the hope of the public and the listeners: " to see Yuzuko Horigome win the competition".

All the critics were unanimous and during every next competitions, comparisons are always made with this reference year. Every Sibelius new version provokes a remembering of what Horigome did that night at the end of may 1980. The same is done with the first sonata of Brahms op.78.

A fact worth to reveal : after the performance of the Brahms sonata, the President of the Jury rung to obtain the silence in the Hall and said : " the jury would like to congratulate the pianists accompanying the soloists for the top level of their job ". It was not the last evening of the competition and so, normally, the President has to wait the last performance before to declare such things. But, the performance of Yuzuko Horigome and Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden was so extraordinary that the Jury pushed the President to make this announce. It was the first indication of what could be the result. The communion between the pianist Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden and Yuzuko Horigome was so unique that the jury could not restrain longer.

After her last exhilarating exploit of the Sibelius concerto everyone was in ecstasy.

This succes brought her worldwide attention and gained her admission to the ranks of the world's top performers. She was immediately offered engagements to appear as a soloist with leading orchestras.

Following her first performance in the United States in Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1982, Yuzuko Horigome has worked out with Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Andre Previn and Chicago Symphony with Abbado.

Her London debut with the London Symphony orchestra in march 1983 with Abbado and in April with Previn led to immediate reinvitations by both conductors.

From that time Yuzuko Horigome has appeared with orchestras all over the world: the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Montreal Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the New-York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Belgium National Orchestra, the I Fiamminghi, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Tokyo Symphony, the Kyoto Philharmonic and many other Japanese orchestras. The conductors were Abbado, Previn, Ozawa, Leinsdorf, Tilson Thomas, Sir Simon Rattle, Chailly, Dutoit, Otaka, Akiyama, Simonov and others.

She appeared frequently with the Kamerata Academica des Mozarteums Salzburg under the direction of Sandor Vegh with who she recorded the five concertos of Mozart.

She recorded Sibelius and Mendelssohn with the Concertgebouw Amsterdam under the baton of Ivan Fisher. The Yuasa concerto composed to the memory of Toru Takemitsu was dedicated to Yuzuko Horigome by the composer. This concerto appeared recently on a Sony record with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Hiroshi Wakasugi.

The Bruch concerto n°1 and the Scottish fantasy recorded with the Royal Philharmonic under Yuri Simonov is a demonstration of her incredible mastery.

Yuzuko Horigome likes very much chamber music. She presented highly praised recitals in the United States, Europe and Japan with a lot of famous pianists like Rudolf Serkin (with the cellist Peter Wiley), Wolfgang Manz, Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, Homero Fransesch, Pi Hsien-Chen, Pascal Sigrist, Daniel Blumenthal and many others.

In the same field we must note an active participation in quatuors with Geringas, Meneses, Nobuko Imai, Pamela Frank or Zehetmair. She is one of the founder members of the Casals Hall Quartet created in 1990 with a star lineup including Zehetmair, Imai and Meneses (Zehetmair is presently replaced by Pamela Frank).

In 1991, Yuzuko Horigome was invited as the soloist on a world tour given by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. She performed on that occasion in the United Nations Headquarters in New-York the Bruch n°1 concerto (an astonishing performance, probably the best version ever heard, broadcast by different television companies). With the same tour she was invited to the Japan Festival in London.

At last but not least Yuzuko Horigome took place in the adjudicatory committee of the Queen Elisabeth International Musical Competition in Brussels , the year when Yayoi Toda, another great violinist, won first place.

Yuzuko Horigome living partly in Brussels where she got married have two children : a girl and a boy.

These children are lucky !! They can hear more than us a wonderful artist.

Yes... Yuzuko Horigome must have been created specially by God for music lovers !!


Known discography: on CDs

J. S. Bach : the two concertos for solo violin and the third partita for solo violin- The English Chamber Orchestra- Andrew Litton : CBS/SONY 32 DC 600

J. S. Bach : the three sonatas for solo violin : CBS/SONY 32 DC 1012 J. Sibelius and F. Mendelssohn concertos : Concertgebouw Amsterdam - Ivan Fischer : CBS/SONY 30 DC 5111

W. A. Mozart : the five concertos - Kamerata Academica des Mozarteums Salzburg - Sandor Vegh : SONY Classical SK 48031, CBS/SONY CSCR 8020 and SONY Records SRCR 8596

J. Yuasa : Concerto dedicated to Horigome to the memory of Toru Takemitsu - NHK Symphony Orchestra directed by Hiroshi Wakasugi : SONY Records SRCR 1777

L. van Beethoven : Variations for piano, violin and cello on Wenzel Muller's Lied " Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu" op 121a - Rudolf Serkin, Yuzuko Horigome and Peter Wiley (cello)- Marlboro Festival 40th anniversary : SONY Classical SMK 47296

M. Bruch : First concerto op.26 and Scottish Fantasy op.46 - The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Yuri Simonov : TRP 108

D. Shostakovich : 14th quatuor with Nobuko Imai, Thomas Zehetmair ans David Geringas : ECM 1 347/48 833507-2 vol 4/5

J. S. Bach : Double violin concerto with Barbara Gorzynska (only second movement )- Sinfonia Helvetica - Grzegorz Nowak : Sonoris SCD 101

T. Takemitsu: Far calls coming far .Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra Hiroshi Wakasugi : Denon 79441

Molto Cantabile : different encores with pianist Wolgang Manz : SONY Records SRCR 9799

J. S. Bach : Trio sonatas by Yuzuko Horigome, Jean-Michel Tanguy (flute) & Jacques Willmyns (harpsichord) : PAVANE ADW 7207

W. A. Mozart : More Mozart - Greatest Hits: Different performers with track 4, third movement of the concerto No. 5 K 219 (same as already defined above): SONY Classical 62682

Violin - Greatest Hits : Different performers - first track - Partita for solo violin No. 3 (first movement) : SONY Classical 66701

Remark: A CD realized "live" in Germany is: Beethoven violin concerto- the orchestra was the Dortmund Philharmonic under the direction of Moshe Atzmon. The jacket of the CD seen on a TV screen have the title "Hiroshima 93". I never found the label and of course the reference number of this CD. If someone reads this page and could give me some information about this topic please send it to the address: dan.tytgat@base.be

on LPs

J. Brahms : Sonatas No. 1 & 3 with J-C Vanden Eynden : Rene Gailly 1980 007


This page is written by Daniel Tytgat. Uploaded on July 12, 2000