Asako is a multi-genre pianist, accompanist, music director, teacher, composer, and arranger. She was born and raised in Japan and later moved to the U.S. where she received a Master of Music, Major in Piano Performance, from the New England Conservatory of Music. Asako has performed at Osaka Symphony Hall, Piloti Hall in Japan, William Hall in Boston, and many other venues including the Mosesian Center for the Arts. She has recently been doing many collaborative online concerts as well.
Asako has been the Music Director at Watertown Children’s Theatre since 2008. During the pandemic, Asako has created a long-term “Stay Home Project” to help others heal through these difficult times through music. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asako has also worked to expand her virtual lessons portfolio and online concerts.
What’s your earliest memory of the arts?
My mom was a professional Opera singer (her Maestro was Italian), so I have listened to her singing since I was a fetus. I went to see her performance as a soloist for many concerts, even with the orchestra for the Ninth Symphony, which is very popular as an end-of the year event in Japan.
Do you have a favorite memory or story about MCA?
I have so many great memories! I have witnessed some of my WCT students become professional actors/singers, even some who were very shy to perform when they were very young. Watching those transformations happen makes me believe that anything is possible and I am proud and lucky to have been part of the MCA community for a long time.
How have you stayed connected to the arts this past year?
I have been working with my project which is called “Stay Home Project” on YouTube since March when the pandemic started. I decided to play piano pieces with classical, jazz, movie music, every week just trying to soothe people and show my appreciation to doctors, nurses, and frontline workers. I have also been collaborating with other artists from all over the world remotely and performing online concerts as well.
Who’s your favorite artist (of any form—visual arts, theater, music, dance)?
I love Ludwig van Beethoven, because he is an innovator in the music structure and the first freelance composer who created extraordinary works, including the Fifth and Ninth Symphonies, even after he became deaf. He opens music to everyone, but in a very artistic way. I also love Late-Romantic to Modern period music to play as a pianist. Among visual artists, I love Rembrandt, Chagall, Degas. I get inspired by all kind of art.
Do you have a favorite musical or play?
The Wiz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables.
Do you have a favorite quote about the arts or one you’d like to share?
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
You can view and listen to some of Asako’s works here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/asanaga100/videos
Please visit her website at www.asakonagashima.com. Asako’s private piano lessons are limited but available.