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Award-winning pianist Masayuki Tayama performs at St Cuthbert’s

05 September, 2019 — By Michael White

Masayuki Tayama

Based for a long while in Hampstead Garden Suburb, the competition -winning pianist Masayuki Tayama has lived in London (on and off) since his parents brought him here at the age of six – which explains his impeccable English accent, his probably misguided love for English audiences, and the interest he’s had since student days in growing roses.

The roses, he says, were a passion inherited from his father “who tried growing them in Japan but the climate was too hot”. The competitions – including the prestigious Takahiro Sonada Competition in Japan which he won some years ago – were an obsession encouraged by his teacher, until he realised that they were taking over his life and “not such a good idea”.

As for audiences, he finds the English more responsive than the Japanese, who “are so restrained you never know if they’re enjoying themselves”. Which is why, after several appearances at Wigmore Hall, he’s happy to be playing on home turf in the piano series at St Cuthbert’s, West Hampstead.

His recital this Saturday (September 7) features the kind of repertoire in which he’s most comfortable: Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Chopin. And the added bonus is it’s free.

• 7pm, Saturday September 7, St Cuthbert’s Church, Fordwych Road, NW2 3TN.

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