Brahms in spotlight for Oak Bay concert

Transplanted pianist brings New York talent to town

Award-winning pianist Shoko Inoue joins acclaimed musicians in concert Tuesday.

Oak Bay pianist Shoko Inoue is teaming up with New York musicians Elmira Darvarova and Howard Wall for Brahms and Friends, a July 19 concert at St. Mary’s Church.

Violinist Darvarova is a former concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera, and founded the New York Chamber Music Festival, for which she serves as artistic director. French horn player Wall plays with the New York Philharmonic.

“It’s magical to play together with fantastic musicians on this beautiful island,” said Inoue, noting that it is the first time she will perform with Darvarova and Wall.

As well as compositions by Johannes Brahms, the trio will perform pieces by Robert Kahn – the Canadian premiere of his “Trio Serenade for Violin, Horn and Piano, Op. 73” – plus Robert and Clara Schumann.

“For me, this concert is unique because of knowing how much these composers were respecting, loving and learning from each other in their profound lives and music,” Inoue said.

Having played the piano since age three, the Tokyo-born musician sees her instrument as a miracle of life. “I play and pray through the piano.”

An award-winning graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, she has been invited by Darvarova to play at the Chamber Music Festival in New York in September.

While she is based in Oak Bay, Inoue is active as a soloist, chamber musician and recitalist on the international stage, playing throughout North America, Japan and Europe.

General admission for Brahms and Friends is $25, or $20 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at Ivy’s Bookshop, Munro’s Books or at the door on performance night. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 1701 Elgin Rd.

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