Shoko Inoue enchants Oak Bay Beach Hotel with performance


Music reflects struggle to find peace

Shoko Inoue

Music reflects struggle to find peace

Oak Bay music fans are in for a classic treat as pianist Shoko Inoue performs her versions of a few rebellious numbers at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel next week.

The program promises a thought-provoking focus on German, French and Russian instrumental accomplishments, including Beethoven’s sonata Appassionata Op. 57, Ravel’s Jeux d’Eau and Prokofiev’s War Sonata 7. But don’t think the arrangement is random – Inoue says the songs were formed at a time when people were struggling through war, and that passion can be seen throughout the pieces. This sentiment reflects Inoue is committed to enhancing life through music.

“All of these (works) echo the voice of that era and everlasting life-force,” said Inoue, who started playing at age three and has performed around the world at places like Carnegie Hall.

“The compassion and courage towards freedom reaches (each of) us without any borders.”

Inoue, who has been known to play barefoot to “stay in touch” with her instrument, thrives on an improvisational style. So much so, that the multi award-winning Japanese instrumentalist recently facilitated a day of action to show love for the Oak Bay deer; though she says that, as a musician, it is important to her to convey a clear message with the content of her music, and to raise the awareness of the “transcendental voice beyond time and space.”

“Those pieces were composed 70-200 years ago (Appassionata in 1804-05, War Sonata 7 in 1942) – it is almost a documentary in the form of music; so much passion, compassion, longing for freedom, pain and ecstatic joy, beyond time and nationality,” she said. “We can experience the rawness of the collected memory of this evolution.”

Inoue’s performance will be the first piano solo concert at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel since it opened last year. With the ocean as an evocative backdrop, the accomplished musician will perform on the hotel’s nine-foot grand piano.

See Inoue Thursday, July 25, 7:30 p.m. at the David Foster Theatre at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, 1175 Beach Dr. Tickets $40, are available at the door, or in advance at Ivy’s Books, 2188 Oak Bay Ave.

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