Našice, the small Slavonian town that has settled on the slopes of Krndia mountain and live it’s life in it’s own routine. Town that is trying to find it’s place in the sea of bigger and stronger cities and / or those touristical places. With all the political ups and downs in the country, Našice manage to find the meaning of it’s own existence. This is not a touristical place, but every now and then some passenger strays here. Some because of work and some because of sport or music. And there are those who “stray” deliberately, as is the case with our guests from Japan, so called Land of the rising sun. Recently, Našice also visited other Japanese friends to mark the anniversary of Japanese and Croatian friendship. On that occasion a young pianist, who studied in Zagreb, Tomohiro Adachi gave concert in the Hall of music school Countess Dora.
A few weeks later another pianist is coming to Našice, directly from Tokyo. Where does the sudden interest in Našice comes from? The answer lies in the name of Dora Pejačević, a woman composer who lived here and whose works are known all over the world as well as in Japan. Keiko voluntarily decided to come to visit the town where Dora grew and whose works she also plays. Keiko’s favorite composition of Dora is “Life of Flowers”.
Keiko Nishizu has been playing the piano since she was 3 years old. She graduated as a pianist from Tokyo University of the Arts. She won at the music conpetition by “All Japan Musicians Association” and also passed an audition by “Japan International League of Artists”. She is known as a soloist and an accompanist. In addition to classical music, she is also playing Japanese contemporary music, which public in Našice loved very much.
Now, to get back to the beginning and Keiko’s arrival to Našice which was initially supposed to be exclusively a tourist, but it turned into more than just a tourist visit. Keiko wished to play several songs to Našice audience. To realize this wish we engaged elementary music school Countess Dora, who made hard effort to host this new musical guest. I must commend Keiko who dared to go alone by car from Zagreb to Našice. A day earlier, she travelled twelve hours from Japan to make her first visit to Croatia and Našice. After signing in Hotel Keiko met with Mrs. Marina Koper and others from the school, and we’ve taken her to see the Dora’s grave and the chapel of family Pejačević. She managed to see the local museum and its surrounding park, followed by a short preparation for the concert, and then the concert itself. Keiko played Bach with special passion Dora Pejačević, contemporary Japanese music, and a couple of French composers. For the very end she surprised audience with „Claudine“ originally performed by Maksim Mrvica and composed by Tonči Huljić.
Mrs. Marina Kopri gave Keiko portrait of Dora Pejačević on behalf of Music School, two bottles of Croatian wine and probably a day to remember The Director of the Tourist Board in Našice mr. Srećko Perković, also gave a little souvenir. After the concert, Keiko managed to be at the opening of an exhibition of old photo equipment, computers and photography, “From black and white to the digital age.”(Od crno bijelog do digitalnog doba). She tried an autumn snack a roasted chestnuts that she liked and famous „Krempita“cake in famous local pastry shop.
I hope Našice and Croatia will stay in Keiko’s good memory . Also, I want to thank Keiko for the concert that she gave in Našice and thanks to everyone that helped to make this concert happen.
Story by: Željka Povreslo
Photo by: Dragoljub Siljanoski