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KG Alumnus Hiroaki Taniguchi Takes Top Prize at International Piano Competition

Public Relations Office        November 7, 2017

Mr. Taniguchi at the piano

Mr. Taniguchi at the piano

 Hiroaki Taniguchi (1994 graduate of the School of Law and Politics, section chief of the Civic Cooperation Promotion Department at Nishinomiya City Hall) shone at the 15th Washington International Piano Artists Competition, held in Washington, DC this August. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Mr. Taniguchi has continued with relief activities for the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture, performing mini concerts in the local area as well as traveling to Paris to hold charity concerts. “I’d be happy if my news could lift the spirits of everyone in Minamisanriku,” he said, delighted.

 In addition to all his rehearsals, while also working at Nishinomiya City Hall, Mr. Taniguchi has also won awards at many competitions up to now, both domestically and abroad. He entered an international competition in Paris four times, and took third place in 2005. He thought “My style of performance isn’t suited for competitions,” and for a time, he gave up on his dream of winning an international competition. However, when he noticed with alarm that his skills had begun to decline, he was spurred into jumping back in. “I really felt that I had unfinished business, and in terms of age, it was my last chance.” He decided to take on the challenge of international competitions once again. While balancing work and fatherhood, he strove to make use of his spare moments to get in an hour and a half of practice every weekday, in addition to up to five hours of practice a day on the weekends.

Mr. Taniguchi will perform in December in Nishinomiya

Mr. Taniguchi will perform in December in Nishinomiya

 In the finals, he hit the wrong notes in the early stage, but even as he felt depressed, he reflected that “By remembering the gentle, peaceful seas of Minamisanriku, I was able to calm down and keep playing. There were many tears of disappointment up to this point, but through those experiences, I developed the ability to cope with various situations.” Regarding his future, Mr. Taniguchi said, “First, I want to have a successful winner’s concert in Washington in April. Then, I’d like to continue the activities which have been helpful for my performances, like supporting Minamisanriku.”
Mr. Taniguchi will perform at the “Christmas Concert: A Celebration for Hiroaki Taniguchi, Winner of the Washington International Piano Artists Competition,” on December 19th (Tuesday) at Frente Hall in Nishinomiya! For more details and information on how to apply, consult the URL below.