Classical guitarist Masakazu Ito to hold benefit concert for Japan
September 22, 2011
By: Kristal Griffith
On March 11, 2011, the world watched as an 8.9-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami on the northeastern coast of the country.
Masakazu Ito watched in disbelief.
“The devastation, the overpowering force of the water … I just knew I wanted to do my part to help,” says Ito, a guitar instructor at DU’s Lamont School of Music.
Ito, who’s from Tokyo, will play a solo benefit concert at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. All proceeds will benefit the Japan Red Cross.
His performance will include works by Japanese composers and some of his favorite guitar music from Spain.
Ito is recognized as a top classical guitarist — acclaimed by musicians, composers, conductors and critics for his mastery of the instrument and its repertoire.
“He has it all,” says Ricardo Iznaola, chair of Lamont’s guitar department. “Virtuosity, musicality and flair — he is certainly a name to watch.”
In 2003, he was chosen by the Japanese government to celebrate 150 years of U.S.-Japan relations with a solo guitar recital at the residence of the Japanese Consul General in Denver.
“I know I can only do so much,” says Ito, whose mother still lives in Tokyo. “But if I can get as many people as possible in one place to raise as much money as I can, it will be a great way for me to contribute.”