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Japanese violin virtuoso to make sweet music

AT 21, prodigy violinist Ryu Goto will perform Bizet, Paganini and Brahms on July 24 at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

He will stage with the Shanghai Opera House Orchestra conducted by Zhang Liang.

Ryu, a Japanese born in New York, started playing violin at the age of three. His elder sister, Midori, is also a violinist who will perform next month in Shanghai.

Ryu performed last year in the city.

The upcoming program features Bizet's "Carmen Suite," Paganini's "Cantabile in D Major" and Brahms' "Violin Concerto."

His violin is the 1715 Stradivarius, known both as the "Ex-Pierre Rod" and the "Duke of Cambridge." The instrument is on loan to him from the NPO Yellow Angel.

Ryu made his concert debut at the age of seven, playing all of Paganini's "Violin Concerto No. 1" at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. He has performed as a soloist with numerous internationally known orchestras, including the London Philharmonic. He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon.

He is widely called a "genius."

Ryu has played under conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lorin Maazel, Myung-Whun Chung, Gerard Schwarz, Rossen Milanov, Yutaka Sado, Jonathan Nott and Yip Wing-sie.

As a chamber musician, Ryu has collaborated with Mischa Maisky, Myung-Whun Chung, The Chung Trio, Jorg Widmann, Nobuko Imai, Michael Dussek and Naoko Yoshino.

"Ryu Goto is a sterling violinist with impeccable technical credentials and a personal musical flair. He has rightfully taken his place among the top echelon of today's young performers," conductor Maazel said in 2007.

In 2005, maestro Chung called him a "brilliant virtuoso and growing young musician."

Ryu has performed on television and radio programs and has been featured in magazines in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Beginning in 1996, Fuji TV broadcast a documentary series titled "Ryu Goto's Odyssey," which aired annually for 10 years.

Ryu is a student at Harvard University, majoring in physics.

"I have been interested in the stars in sky since I was little and I admire Einstein very much. Physics and music are delicately connected and they have corresponding beauty," he has said.

Ryu also holds a black belt in karate and plays the guitar.

In his 2009-2010 season, Ryu will perform in Seoul and Taipei before Shanghai. Following an eight-city Japan recital tour this year he will give concerts in the US, Mexico and Vienna. In May 2010, he will perform in Carnegie Hall.

Date: July 24, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center

Tickets: 80-600 yuan (40 yuan for students)


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