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Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Violinist closes Mexico school
MEXICO CITY — The music academy for children in Mexico run by Japanese violinist Yuriko Kuronuma closed in late June due to declining enrollment. It was established in 1980 with the help of donations from Japan.
The school's donated musical instruments will continue to be used by young Mexicans following its takeover by the Mexican Culture and Music Agency.
"It's sad that the school has closed but I'm happy that the good will of the Japanese will remain appreciated," said the 72-year-old prize-winning violinist.
Kuronuma started living in Mexico in 1972, the home country of her then husband. During her professional career, she gave private lessons to local children and expanded her teaching activities by founding Academia Yuriko Kuronuma in the hope that more children would learn to enjoy music.
Shortly thereafter, however, Mexico's economic crisis erupted, bringing down the value of the peso and making it difficult for Mexicans to buy foreign-made violins.
Kuronuma brought some of her students to Japan, where they played a number of concerts, and during the tour called for people to donate violins. This made it possible to keep her academy going.
The academy produced some internationally acclaimed artists, including Adrian Justus.
But the fortunes of her academy began to decline as the streets of Mexico City became too dangerous for children to use amid the spike in rampant drug-related crime and traffic congestion.