Musicians from Hiroshima and five nuclear powers hold concert for peace

by Aya Kano, Staff Writer

The “Concert for Peace in Hiroshima,” which featured musicians from Hiroshima and five nuclear weapon states performing together at Aster Plaza, in downtown Hiroshima, was held on April 1. The event reunited musicians who had staged a concert in New York in connection with the 2010 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. About 430 people attended the concert, designed to appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Thirty-two musicians from the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and China joined about 130 people from Hiroshima, including members of a choir. The program included piano and violin pieces, arias, and other performances. A British actress recited an English version of the A-bomb poem "Umashimenkana" ("We Shall Bring Forth New Life").

To close the concert, everyone at the venue sang the well-known Japanese song “Furusato” (“Hometown”). Kana Takeyama, 18, a university student who lives in Nishi Ward, Hiroshima, remarked, “Music has the power to unite people’s ideas across national borders.”

The New York concert was spearheaded by Yasuko Mitsui, a harpsichord player and resident of Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture who called on musicians from the five countries to participate. Those who took part in New York hoped to stage another concert in Hiroshima, and the executive committee, chaired by Kazutaka Yamamoto, organized the Hiroshima event.

(Originally published on April 2, 2013)