This article is about the blind Japanese pianist Noboyuki Tsujii, whose story I saw in a documentary entitled “Touching the sound” directed by Peter Rosen, broadcast on the Deutsche Welle channel. He is an example of man overcoming tremendous obstacles to reach the pinnacle of human achievement.
Noboyuki was born blind and at the age of 4 his parents gave him a miniature piano to help him deal with his blindness. Not only did he immediately pick up how to play, but by the age of 6 he was playing real music from just hearing it. He then graduated to a standard piano and started having piano lessons and from then on he became a prodigy. He was soon learning the classical repertoire from tape recordings his teacher prepared for him. At the age of 10 he started giving solo performances in Japan. At the age of 20 he won the van Cliburn international piano competition and one of the judges admitted that leaving the performance he cried. He then played a solo concert at Carnegie Hall in NYC in 2011 at age 23.
Noboyuki Tsujii is a natural genius, a phenomenon. It is a spiritual experience to hear him play Beethoven, a blind Japanese playing the music of a deaf German. Human experience has no words to define this. It should be an antidote to all those haters and murderers who kill people because they are different from them and they cannot deal with that. They want everyone to be the same, to be like them, to believe like them. Thank goodness we are in fact all different and some people, like Noboyuki Tsujii, have such unique talent.