Musicians of the IPO joined in the Tsunami Violin Project, performing on a unique quartet of string instruments in Suntory Hall, Tokyo. The Tsunami Violin Project was born in the aftermath of the tsunami which left behind vast destruction in March 2011, only months after the orchestra’s last tour to Japan. In addition to the devastation, 10,000 children were left homeless and 2,000 orphaned. Violin maker Muneyuki Nakazawa built the quartet from wood torn from homes in the Tohoku region by the water. In a nearby forest only one tree was left standing, a symbol of the hope for renewal. When it succumbed to the salt water a year later, its image was preserved on the instruments, and its wood used to make bass bars and sound posts for the quartet.
The organizers are planning 1,000 performances on the instruments – symbolic of the Japanese tradition of 1,000 good wishes. Proceeds from fund raising allow child victims of natural disasters to recover through music education.
The instruments will be played in Suntory Hall, Tokyo, in all of the Orchestra’s appearances in Japan and in broadcasts for the NHK.