Happy New Year!!!
14th Dec 2019
Review has just come out on Japanese leading music magazine 'Ongaku Gendai' January 2020 (translated from original Japanese)
27th July 2019
The Complete 24 Chopin Etudes Recital
Megumi Fujita (piano)
Complete 24 Etudes Recital
Piano Trio New!Mozart
Fantasia in C minor, K.475 New!Mozart
New!Smetana Piano Trio
New!Mozart Fantasia in C minor, K.475
Video from concerts in Japan
concerts in Sweden
15th June 2019
A 2 page colour spread article on Chopin 24 Etudes Concert & Masterclass in Sendai (Apr 2019) has appeared (with photos!) on July issue of Japanese Ongaku Gendai Magazine!
“Ongaku Gendai” Magazine July,2019
Chopin by Megumi Fujita
Complete 24 Chopin Etude
Megumi Fujita was born in New Zealand and spent most of her life in various countries because her father was a diplomat. She started learning the piano from her mother at the age of five and entered the piano world. She studied under Louis Philip Kentner (1905-1987), Vlado Perlemuter (1904-2002) at the Yehudi Menuhin School in the United Kingdom, and Irina Zaritskaya (1939-2001) as a post-graduate student at Tel Aviv University in Israel.
And when Zaritskaya moved to the Royal College of Music in the United Kingdom, Fujita continued her post-graduate studies at the Royal College of Music to follow her professor Zaritskaya. Madame Zaritskaya was also a very famous "Chopinist'' who was known in the piano world. She took second place after Maurizio Pollini (1942-) in the sixth Chopin competition in Warsaw in 1960 and was recognized for her exceptional talent. Zaritskaya went on to continue to higher musical studies at Moscow Conservatory in Russia.
In other words Fujita received extensive guidance until Zaritskaya's death. For example Kentner learnt from Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) who was a composer, philosopher, folklorist and linguist. While Perlemuter learned from Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) and from Alfred Cortot (1877-1962 ) and he was active worldwide. So it can be said that Fujita's piano genealogy reaches the most important pianists in world music history.
Fujita was active overseas with her sisters ; Honoka on cello and Arisa on violin known as the "Fujita sisters". Recently Fujita is a soloist focusing on concerts and teaching piano in Japan. It is because of her pure heart that she wants to convey to the Japanese piano performers her musical arts and heritage from her professors.
Fujita's recent CD from Intim Musik Sweden is all Chopin études. This is an album that reproduces the sound of Chopin inherited from Madame Zaritskaya. I was deeply impressed when I listened to her live performance, Fujita was particular about Chopin's ideal fingering techniques, and in her performance I could hear the trained independence of ten fingers. She plays Chopin's etudes as a work of art in which Chopin incorporate artistic creativity, skill and music.
Etude Op. 10-6 in E flat minor in the style of nocturnal combines the precise touch and volume of the left -hand part further enhancing the artistry of this etude. "The ascending arpeggio" in No.11 in E flat major is undisturbed, and even when playing the left and right hands, her "tempo rubato" would even enchant Clara Schumann, who had criticized Chopin's performance. Op. 25-10 "the octave jumping'' in B minor was very refreshing with careful consideration not to make any unwanted noise with the pedal Etude No. 11 "Etude of the tree wilt' ' and No. 12 are exactly "pictures of sound ". The wind that blows the leaves off the trees and the scene of people raising their collars and pining for their warm homes. The final Etude, Op. 25-12 "Ocean Etude" increases the heart at of the listener in the parallel arpeggio of both hands.
Throughout her whole concert Fujita's awareness is that the sound is not muddy at all by the control of the damper pedal like that which Pollini inherited from legendary pianist Michelangeli. In a similar environment to Argerich whose father was a diplomat, Fujita's performance level of Chopin was outstanding compared to other pianists.
Finally, I want to say that Megumi Fujita will hold an all Chopin Etude concert at St. John's Smith Square Hall in London on 27th of October this autumn. It is my hope that many Japanese will go to the United Kingdom to hear the performance. As was Kawai concert salon "Verde" fair day on April 21 in Sendai Japan.
23rd Feb 2019
An 2 page spread article on Chopin 24 Etudes Concert & Masterclass (Dec, 2018) has appeared (with photos!) on March issue of Japanese Ongaku Gendai Magazine!
18th Nov 2018
Along with Vocalise, 5 Preludes (nos 1, 2, 6, 23, 24) and the Cello Sonata, we played the beginning of the 2nd Piano Concerto and the famous 18th Variation from Var on the theme by Paganini with Honoka's cello accompaniment!
My journey to Chopin Etudes
Thank you for coming to hear my Chopin Etudes tonight.
I was one of those typical
‘model student’ in my younger years, as I can immediately play whatever
my teachers’ instructed. When I found out the possibility to study with
Irina Zaritzkaya at Tel Aviv University, with great difficulty, I somehow
managed to get my parents - who were more inclined towards me studying
in the US - to let me study in what was a war torn Israel.
I was mimicking everything my teacher said with perfection. Really with amazing detail. I wrote down everything through to a minute detail into my music. I participated in many competitions, so I played the same pieces to her over and over, and wrote in even more detail. Every twice weekly lessons were spent intensively, so one can imagine how much I have improved. However, deep within me, I was insecure, and lacked confidence. I was studiously trying to copy everything my teacher said, but never even thought about applying the idea in other pieces. I did have a level of uncertainty, but as long as I can have lessons with my teacher, wherever she is, I will be set forever.
Irina Zaritskaya died suddenly in 2001, when I was in my mid–thirties.
I was abruptly left alone to learn new pieces from scratch. I was fine performing music that I was taught, but new pieces are different. I can do what was printed, but emotions did not synchronise with what I was playing. Even if I literally prayed while performing passages that needed to sound like a prayer, the sound never came out as I wished.
Something was missing from what is definitely a beautiful music.
I had a lot of concerts scheduled at the time, so I went to my late teacher’s daughter Alexandra Andrievsky, who was of similar age to me, in London, and when she moved to Canada, I went to Canada to have lessons. Alexandra Andrievsky, printed at the end of my biography is my late teacher, Irina Zaritskaya’s daughter. I had by then, completely given up making music by myself.
In one of the lessons in Canada, I asked ‘how shall I play this phrase?’. Alexandra went silent for a moment and then told me what to do. Now that I think back, perhaps she didn’t go silent to think, but were listening out for a doorbell or a phone, but to me, a person desperate for the answer, the silence felt like a lightening bolt. ‘Should I think deeper!!?’
At that moment I decided to to use my head and search for answers.
After that, I stopped going for lessons, and limited listening to other performers in concerts and CDs to a bare minimum. I have only listened to a handful of recordings of the pieces I am performing for the past decades.
I have finally started to think deeper and deeper in my own mind.
At first, the new pieces which I learned by myself lacked something. I read widely, and went to museums. I tried pouring all my emotions, literally to the point of crying, but the results were not quite there. But I really wanted to find the answers by myself.
After few years a revelation presented itself: Pianistic tone colour varies by the weight transmitted from the arm to the keyboard. Simple, but this was the most important discovery.
Next revelation came when I found that there are perfect sound for final chords. It was as surprising as a baby finding out that mummy has a name too!
After that, small discoveries followed almost everyday, and eventually mounted enough that audiences began to notice and compliment. I am still discovering something new everyday. I have finally gained confidence to make my own unique performance.
What I hope you are about to hear is a true representation of the music I hear in my mind.
Even though this is named ‘Etude’, it was composed by Chopin, a composer of many heart rendering music. I hope to recreate what I think Chopin himself imagined.
I realise this may differ from all the wonderful recordings from the past, and some of you will find it disconcerting. My performance is what I envisage Chopin felt and I have recorded it on a CD and will perform to you tonight.
I will be most delighted if you could enjoy with me my performance of what I think Chopin himself imagined.
The final part of the concert featured the Fujita sisters Arisa, Honoka and Megumi, who together make up the Fujita Piano Trio.
Initially, Megumi gave a solo performance of three of Chopin’s most popular Etudes (Black Keys, Thirds and Revolutionary) in which she balanced power and richness of sound with a wonderful delicacy of touch.
by her sisters, the trio performed Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in c minor,
entirely from memory, which made for an intensely musical and impressively
concentrated performance, and thrilling close to a most enjoyable concert
and a wonderful musical birthday tribute to Neil Chaffey.
The greatest piano studies of all time.
As Frédéric Chopin was also a pianist, he studied the piano extensively. Unlike his friend Liszt, he, as a concert pianist, disliked large venues and big audiences. He preferred performing at intimate surroundings.One will recognize such differences when listening to the newly released CD (Intim Musik label) of Chopin's etudes op.10 and 25 performed by Megumi Fujita, widely known around the world as a chamber musician in a piano trio with her two sisters.
What I mean is, that these pieces are usually a showcase for how technically brilliant, strong, fast and skilled a young pianists can execute the Chopin's etudes. Fujita has totally different attitude to this, as shown from the very first Etude, op. 10 No. 1, in C major.
She has all the technique required of a modern pianist to play at any speed, but she refrains from getting praise this way. With wonderful touch and remarkably controlled dynamics, and perfect mix of the classical and romanticism born out of Chopin's heart (Chopin loved Mozart’s music!), she takes the tempo at a slightly slower pace, with tenderness and butterfly's touch, thus drawing the music away from the earth shattering fast-paced virtuosi.
With the risk of misunderstanding,
I would like to call Fujita's interpretation feminine in the very best
meaning of that word.I cannot pick "best tracks" in this collection.
Everything is so good. A personal musical favourite among them is Etude
Op.25 No.1 in A flat major. Do listen to the CD in the record shop –
and I am sure you will love Megumi Fujita's way of playing and her interpretation
20th March 2016
'The Fujita Piano Trio have played for Cockermouth Music Society before, but never to greater effect than in their recent concert in the town.
This can only be described as a stunning performance by three Japanese sisters who play from memory which in itself is a feat, but it comes completely naturally from these three great musicians. The empathy which flows between them and their innate musicianship is woven together to produce a performance of the highest standard. Megumi Fujita is a formidable pianist whose power is quite extraordinary, but she can also play softly and with great sensitivity.
The Haydn Trio in C sparkled and sang-joy personified in music. Then followed a memorable performance of Ravel’s great A minor Trio, with some tremendous moments of power contrasted with moving beauty. Arisa Fujita’s violin sang out with great clarity whenever needed, beautifully complemented by Honoka Fujita on the cello and always backed by Megumi’s incredible piano playing. A rarely heard but very fine Beethoven Trio Op 70, No 2 in E flat completed the evening, with a deeply satisfying performance in every sense from a world class trio who we were so lucky to hear at the height of their powers.'
Strings Magazine is available to purchase online (worldwide)
Plymouth Chamber Music has been bringing most of the top international artists to the city for a long time. Whilst the occasional artist has possibly been the equal of the Fujita Piano Trio in terms of technique alone, there is one thing which simply puts this all-sister ensemble in an unassailable class of its own: the whole programme is played from memory!
It's almost impossible to appreciate what this means in performance. The solo pianist who suffers a memory lapse can usually regroup, and for the concerto soloist, the orchestral players at least have their own parts to follow. But for a trio the potential for disaster is virtually unimaginable.
However, this in itself creates a unique listening experience. There is no barrier which the use of music, with its constantly disruptive page-turning, otherwise imparts, and moreover there is always that necessary sense of risk which ensures that every performance has that special added frisson.
Arisa, Honoka and Megumi are, of course, absolutely superb solo artists in their own right, and psychologists would no doubt be able to account for this uncanny display of sororal memory. But their magnificent performance of this taxing programme of trios by Mendelssohn, Takemitsu, Shostakovich and Schubert, was second to none, and must surely rank as one of the most memorable musical experiences heard in the city for many years to come.
5 out of 5 by P-G Bergfors of Goteborgsposten (Swedish daily newspaper)
"Such riches, such a gift! The two Schubert Piano Trios for the first time on the same maxed out CD, in a luminous, well balanced recording. And the way these three Japanese sisters are playing! Their skillful phrasing, their sensitivity to the Schubert intimacies, their natural choice of tempi, their obvious dexterities in the musical details without loosing any sense of spontaneity (which I suppose comes from the fact that they play concerts and record from memory, i.e. without sheet music in front of them)
The feel of this recording is as it was a live recording by Schubert in two of his most blissful chamber music works. The interpretation of the slow movements is better than any recording I can remember. And their frisky playing in the concluding movements of both trios is uplifting."
Bergfors (Goteborgsposten 18/12 2007)
Opinion Nov/Dec 2006 Max Harrison