News Classical 26/05/2009

Domo Records-Fontana Releases World Renowned Concert Pianist: Fuzjko Hemming

NEW YORK (Top40 Charts/ Doreen D'Agostino Media) - Having wowed much of the Eastern Hemisphere for years, pianist Fuzjko Hemming prepares to disembark American shores this June to issue her five best-selling albums: Echoes of Eternity, La Campanella, Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1, Nocturnes of Melancholy, Live at Carnegie Hall. These invigorating collections of classical interpretations, previously available only in Japan, will be made available in the U.S. for the very first time via Domo Records/Fontana. A brand new album, Fuzjko, will follow in July.

On the new album, Fuzjko performs largely romantic repertoire ranging from Beethoven's "The Tempest" sonata to works by Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti and Debussy. In each piece, whether performing Chopin's Nocturnes or Liszt's bravura studies "La Campanella" and "Grand Etudes D'Apres Paganini No. 6", Fuzjko brings considerable poetry to these works, and always in her own eminently attractive style. The warmth of Fuzjko's sound can also be heard in Scarlatti's Sonata K.162 and Debussy's "Claire De Lune". Although much of the repertoire is familiar, it is a pleasure to hear Fuzjko performing lesser known works like Liszt's transcription of Schumann's "Fruhlinghsnacht", and Chopin's "Trois Nouvelles Etudes No.3, and always played with her celebrated musicality.

The celebrated virtuoso blends the classicality of her influences (Franz Liszt, Fr?d?ric Chopin) and the sophisticated approach of her mentors (Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan) for an emotional delivery of exquisite craftsmanship. She's been known to bring some fans to tears thanks to her moving presentation of becoming one with her music. But before conquering the spheres of contemporary and classical music alike, Fuzjko worked tirelessly to rise above her less-than-humble beginnings.
Fuzjko was born Ingrid Fuzjko von Georgii-Hemming to a Japanese pianist mother and a Russian-Swedish father in Berlin. When Fuzjko was a child, her father left the family and as a result she relocated to Tokyo with her mother and brother. During this time, the family had very few resources and Fuzjko found herself perfecting her piano technique on a broken piano; it wasn't ideal, but she fell in love with the instrument. By 16, she was hailed a child prodigy - then tragedy struck; Fuzjko suffered deafness in her right ear from an inflammation. Undeterred by such misfortune, Fuzjko made her performance debut at 17. She then furthered her music studies at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and went on to receive a scholarship and be graduated from the Berlin Institute of Music.
Upon finishing school, Fuzjko moved to Vienna and worked with the likes of Ukrainian piano great Shura Cherkassky, famed Italian-German conductor Bruno Maderna, and legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. Prior to making her recital debut under Bernstein's guidance, Fuzkjo lost all hearing in her left ear after battling a cold. For a second time Fuzjko's growing career was stopped short. She went back to Sweden where she sought solace from her aunt and continued her studies. Eventually, Fuzjko obtained her music teaching license.
There, she spent the next few years teaching music while seeking medical attention to restore her hearing. She took up other odd jobs to make ends meet, including working as a janitor at a psychiatric hospital, and there she found an upright piano. The nurses were amazed when they heard Fuzjko's playing, which touched one of the patients in particular who had never smiled...hearing the Fuzjko play brought a smile to his face and touched the hearts of all who looked on. No one could understand why Fuzjko was there and they thought she told her she should be a concert pianist...Fuzjko's heart was warmed. After some time, and with great fortune, 40 percent of her hearing was eventually restored in her left ear. Fuzjko to start performing in small concert halls again -and shaping her dream of becoming a concert pianist.
In 1999, NHK Television in Japan aired a documentary of Fuzjko's life. The audience immediately fell for Fuzjko's eccentric charm and her unique style of performing, ultimately making her a pop star of sorts. Her first album, La Campanella, went on to sell over two million copies, a very rare accomplishment for any classical artist. She also received the Classical Album of the Year award at the Japan Gold Disc Awards four different times, another extraordinary achievement for a classical artist.

Fuzjko is also a gifted painter. She took an interest in painting and drawing at the same time she was learning to play piano; both her father and her mother's sister were painters. While on location in Europe, Fuzjko can usually be found painting in between tour stops. She made her art debut in Ginza, Japan in the early 2000s. The Embassy of Sweden also showcased her portraits in May 2003. More recently, Fuzjko's 20-piece copperplate exhibition was on display in Paris throughout February and March 2009. Her delicate water-color display marks the cover of Fuzjko.

With her strikingly unorthodox playing style and such intricate ethnic roots, Fuzjko's true home is at the piano. She is a genuine artist of the world, having performed countless sold-out concerts across Europe and Japan. In 2004, she dazzled classical audiences in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Fuzjko will return to New York at Alice Tully Hall this December and in LA at the Santa Monica Broad Stage (1310, 11th St., Santa Monica).
For further information:
Doreen D'Agostino
646.829.0652 917.916.2626

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