Nagisa climbs the rungs of fame

She is super-talented. She plays the violin, piano, jazz piano, saxophone, and morinkhuur. At 28, Nagisa Abe is a young Japanese woman, who has won the admiration of the public with her inexhaustible urge to entertain people of diverse cultural backgrounds. Her musical talents – particularly with the traditional musical instruments – have seen concert organizers, hosts of conferences, cultural forums, and companies in Asia and Europe scrambling for an invitation to have her perform to the audience.

Nagisa is very much concerned for the down-trodden in society, and as a means of reconciling people with their burdens in life, she actively holds voluntary concerts at various hospitals, schools, care-centers for elderly people, as well as in many other occasions around Korea and Japan.

But if Nagisa is highly admired today by fans and lovers of her music genre, it is a success story that began as early as 1986. At the age of 4, Nagisa was part of an orchestra that performed at Morioka city festival, playing with the violin. She stayed with this orchestra until the year 2000.

Nagisa sends out sparkling tunes from her instrument

Among her vibrant performances that earned her instant recognition from the public was the 2004 “turning point” performance when she staged the morinkhuur in Seoul, Korea. Receiving a standing ovation from a huge crowd that applauded her to her seat, Nagisa’s journey to the hall of fame seemed to have just begun, as the young woman became the center of attraction from fans and promoters, who solicited her for several other first class performances. And so, the next year – 2005, she was invited to perform at numerous events and places in Japan.

Henceforth, it was a routine for Nagisa to be called up for major performances. In 2008, she won the “Outstanding Performance Award” at the 1st International Morinkhuur Festival and Symposium held in Ulaanbaator, Mongolia. That same year, she had performed at a “Peace prayer concert” dedicated to Dr. Takashi Nagai in Shimane, Japan. Her performance at the 4th World Animation Festival “Fantasy EXPO” held in Shanghai, China in June 2008 was also ground-breaking.

The years ahead were to see an elated Nagisa winning the hearts of many people in her genre of entertainment. In 2010, Nagisa travelled to Europe, where, together with Saya Sangidorji, performed in various locations around Spain. But before her invitation to Europe, she had staged soul-searching performances at the World Culture Open (WCO) Friends Forum in Beijing, China, where she played among other pieces, the song “Amazing Grace”, leaving the audience spell-bound with her talents and ability to play five different instruments. This amazing performance by the young, dynamic, but rather calm and humble Nagisa was preceded by her very successful performance of the morinkhuur and piano duo with Mongolian-Spanish pianist Saya Sangidorj in Yokohama, Japan.

In early 2010, Nagisa was delighted to go on stage with one of her teachers, Prof. Li Bo, at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, then a solo performance at Chikurin Gekijyo, Shizuoka, Japan, in July that same year.

In the meantime, Nagisa may owe her tremendous success to her open-mindedness and zeal in unraveling every “mystery” that may stand in the way of her career. By enrolling into three different major music academies, she demonstrated that she was ready to go to any height to achieve her career goals. And so after graduating from Toho Arts Junior College in 2003, she proceeded to the Kunitachi Music Academy, and majored in piano tuning, and upon her graduation in 2005, Nagisa picked another major – music composition and arrangement – in the same music academy and in 2006, she graduated with sharpened music skills.

Nagisa in action: playing at a concert

The huge successes in her career also remind Nagisa to be thankful to her teachers who saw her through in her journey to fame. But perhaps, most importantly, Prof. Akiko Kikuchi, who taught her violin, Prof. Seiji Watanabe, Prof. Miyo Moto, and Prof. Yasuko Katayama, who taught her piano; then, Prof. Ryoichi Kitada, from whom she  learnt jazz piano; Prof. Hiroshi Hara who taught her saxophone, and then Pro. Lai Haslo, Prof. Li Bo and Prof. Tsend Batchuluun who imparted the skills of playing the morinkhuur, may even be more thankful for seeing their one-time student excelling in what she learnt from them.

In addition to her music career, Nagisa Abe is a Lecturer of Morinkhuur at Kunitachi Music Academy, and Board Member of Japan Morinkhuur Association.

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