Boston Symphony Hall, Boston, 3.4.2016
In March 2016, the Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta traveled to Boston for a programme of musical activities, cultural exchange and collaboration with young American musicians. The main goals of the programme, supported by the Tomodachi Initiative-US Japan Council and the Japan Society of Boston, was to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the 11 March 2011 disaster, to express thanks to the people of America for their extraordinary support and aid to Japan in the aftermath, to demonstrate to the world that Fukushima is full of active, recovering and creative people, and to present high-level musical performances and conduct exchanges with young American musicians.
The eight-day project for the FYS culminated in its triumphant North American debut for an audience of 1500 at the historical and renowned Boston Symphony Hall on 3 April 2016 with a performance of a very demanding programme, including Glinka Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture, Mozart Flute Concerto in D major, Barber Adagio for Strings and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No .2. Maestro Honna was responsible for conducting most of the programme, while Rintaro Miyashita led the orchestra for the Mozart Concerto, and Sanjib Mondal for the Barber. A musical surprise in the programme at the end of the first half was the Japanese folk song “Furusato” which was performed only by the Fukushima musicians, conducted by their very own Suda-sensei. The Fukushima musicians, with the support of several adult musicians with which they had been rehearsing the last week, performed at a standard that earned them a spontaneous standing ovation, and an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from the Boston audience. The roaring applause granted two encores, Elgar Nimrod (conducted by Maestro Honna) and Pirates of the Caribbean (conducted by Maestro Miyashita, with Zach, Panos, Maestro Honna and Fumiko joining the percussion team). The evening concluded in a party atmosphere with balloons coming down from the ceiling of Boston Symphony Hall.
The concert on 3 April 2016 was the biggest success the FYS experienced to date and saw wide coverage in US, Japanese and global news media.