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Jen and I not particularly well-versed in the goings-on of the International piano competition community (Sorry, Moms), so we hadn’t heard of the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition–a prestigious classical piano showdown that occurs every three years in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan–until we read about its newly-anounted champion today.
South Korea’s Cho Seung-jin took first prize in the 7th Annual competition, a two-week affair that culminated today, making him the first-ever Asian person to nab the top honor (All winners since the contest’s 1991 inception have been European) of the Asia-based tournament.
OH. He’s also 15.
So he’s the youngest-ever winner of the competition. And our Hardass Asian Parents’ wet dream.
Cho typically practices piano for three to four hours a day (six during heavy competition), and what we love about him is that he seems to be both a consummate professional and fun, dreamy, adorably innocent kid.
The Korea Times pulled this excerpt from the judges’ interpretation of his second-round performance, depicting the nuance and wisdom of a veteran:
Filed under: Cho Seung-Jin, Everybody Loves a Winner, Exceptional Young People, First Asian, Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, Hardass Asian Parents, Japan, Music, Musical Geniuses, Piano, Piano Lessons Are Required, Prodigies, Teen Wonders, Youngest-Ever
Happy 57th birthday.
Diana and Jen
Danny Johnson, 14, of Grapevine, TX, broke the Guitar Hero III world record Wednesday by scoring 973,954 points on Expert while playing DragonForce’s “Through the Fire and Flames,” the seven-minute shred-a-thon that is the final ego-stomping hurdle of the game. (Full disclosure: neither Diana nor I have done this. Yet.) Apparently he was on his way to a perfect score (showoff!) until his blue key broke, but he shattered the old record by 75,000 points anyway and appeared not to break a sweat as he performed before a crowd in a midtown Manhattan Best Buy:
In real life, Danny actually plays real instruments, like the guitar, piano, drums, sax, and…the oboe. I too played the oboe for seven years in junior high and high school. I’m pretty sure it was the reason why I had so many boyfriends (too many to count, I assure you) in my adolescence. (Have you ever read Meghan Daum’s genius essay, “Music Is My Bag,” about being the sad sack who plays the oboe? You should.) I’m also pretty sure, now that Danny’s bagged the world record, that his–and my–GH prowess comes from playing that fickle, forgotten woodwind, that double-reed, duck-calling dork magnet.
Yes, yes. It’s all so clear to me now. It must definitely be the oboe.
Filed under: Danny Johnson, Danny Johnson Guitar Hero III World Record, Dork Magnets, DragonForce, Guinness Book of World Records, Lofty Goals, Musical Geniuses, Oboes, Oboists, Through the Fire and Flames
Why is some asshole young’un always stealing my gosh-darned thunder?
First it was that little tramp* that beat me to the punch on a landmark Jewsian Bat Mitzvah–complete with glorious photos and full NYT coverage.
Now, it’s some little brat* that’s trying to beat me out on my dream of making my mark as the second coming of Neil Peart.
Um, trying…rather, er, successfully.
*Not actually a tramp. Actually the most adorable little Jewess you ever did see.
*Not actually a brat. Actually a total freakin’ genius and my hero.
Happy 36th Birthday to Midori Goto, one of the leading concert violinists in the country, founder of American and Japanese non-profits Midori & Friends and Music Sharing, and Angelino. You may be stepping further away from your years as a child music prodigy, but don’t be too upset–hell, it happens to all of us.
We don’t have any confirmation as to whether or not self-made YouTube star Marie Digby has any Asian at all in her ethnic makeup, but she certainly looks the part. And if the excellence of her acoustic cover of the world’s favorite song, “Umbrella,” is any indication… she definitely is.
I didn’t see it live last night, but apparently Sanjaya made a little girl in the American Idol audience weep:
I’m sick-as-balls of writing about this guy. I would let the video stand alone, but I have a bone to pick concerning Sanjaya’s song choice.
In front of 30 million gajillion viewers Tuesday, Sanjaya butchered “You Really Got Me,” a really great rock song by one of my all-time favorite bands, The Kinks. Ray Davies, who wrote it, is THE SHIT.
I would put him up there with Bowie, Lennon, and Dylan any day of the century. I can’t even begin to name all of my favorite Kinks songs–Stop Your Sobbing, Waterloo Sunset, David Watts, The Village Green Preservation Society, This Time Tomorrow…
Another fun fact: Ray was once married to Chrissie Hynde, also The Shit. The marriage did not end well, however, and a little birdie once told me that Ray has a problem with hitting women. I have a feeling he does this because his, ahem, ego is shriveled from never getting his due like the Beatles and the Stones, to which I say:
WHATEVER. GET OVER IT. YOU’RE STILL A GENIUS. HITTING WOMEN IS WEAK.
And for a chap with such alleged violent tendencies, how are you, Ray Davies, suddenly a pacifist when 1) Van Halen
phones in covers “You Really Got Me” in 1978 and 2) their weak-ass version becomes so big that when I play it on Guitar Hero 2, the screen reads, “You Really Got Me, AS MADE FAMOUS BY VAN HALEN,” a statement that I find utterly fatuous, and 3) a smiley half-wit whose one talent is HULA-DANCING cute-sies his way through the same once-great song on a cheeseball talent show, rendering girls all over the world–myself included–speechless with tears?
Source: Kinda Kinks