Twenty years ago, the pianist, composer and singer-songwriter Jason Kouchak, in association with the Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh and the Embassy of Japan in Belfast and with the support of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, held an evening of piano recitals called Across the Water at the Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh on 31 October 1997 and at the Harty Room, Queen’s University Belfast on 7 November 1997.
Kouchak played his own compositions, but also played well-known Japanese pieces such as Sakura and Itsuki no Komoriuta.
The 1997 programme can be seen via this link Piano Recitals by Jason Kouchak, Across the Water, Programme (PDF)
Jason Kouchak was born in Lyon, France. He was educated at Westminster School and studied classical piano at the Royal College of Music and Edinburgh University.
Japan has continued to feature in Kouchak’s life. He was sponsored by Yamaha Pianos between 1995-2000 and has been active in performing for charity events in the aftermath of the Kobe, Tohoku, and Kumamoto earthquakes.
On 2 June 2017, Kouchak performed both traditional Japanese music and classical music – Mozart piano concerto no 21 and Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp minor for Ambassador Kodama at his residence in Brussels.Jason Kouchak performance at Ambassador Kodama's residence
One of Kouchak’s current projects project in Japan involves chess and ballet with Hikaru Nakamura, a chess grandmaster.
The idea is to encourage more chess ‘Queens’ to take up chess before 2020 through classical music and ballet. Late autumn performances of chess and ballet in Tokyo are yet to be finalised.
Jason Kouchak, website