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Friday, June 1, 2012

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Atmospheric: Last year's Starlight Concert takes place near Osaka Castle. © T. IIJIMA

Stars to set scene for symphony

Staff Writer

It's said that you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep — so imagine what could be said about Eiji Oue, who associated with the renowned U.S. composer Leonard Bernstein (1918-90).

Bernstein, best known for his work as the composer for the American musical "West Side Story," achieved international prominence as the highly successful conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Oue, a Hiroshima native, studied under Bernstein for years in Los Angeles — and the greatness seems to have rubbed off on him. Since 2003, Oue has been the principal conductor of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra. He also served as the music director for several other orchestras including those in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Barcelona.

On June 2, music lovers with a taste for classical, yet fiery, symphonic performances will have the opportunity to see Oue at his best when he conducts the Osaka Philharmonic as part of the Starlight Concert, which will take place in Osaka Castle's Nishinomaru Garden.

Also on the bill is 10-year-old violinist Yota Kuwabara. The young prodigy began playing violin when he was only 6 years old. In 2010, Kuwabara won the top prize at the Jasta String Festival and he has gone on to perform at concerts worldwide.

The Starlight Concert will take place outdoors, thus lending a picniclike atmosphere to the festivities that will feature fresh air, a fresh sound and a photogenic setting with Osaka Castle perched in the background.

The concert will begin at 6 p.m., however tickets will be sold from 10 a.m. on the same day.

The Starlight Concert takes place in Nishinomaru Garden at Osaka Castle in Chuo-ku, Osaka, on June 2 (6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) In the event of bad weather, the event will be postponed until the following day. Tickets are ¥1,000 for adults, and there will be ¥500 tickets available for those over 65, the disabled and junior high school students. For more information, visit www.city.osaka.lg.jp/yutoritomidori/page/0000164045.html (Japanese).

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