Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

WHILE WASO cel­list Shigeru Ko­matsu’s par­ents may not have shared their son’s pas­sion for bas­ket­ball dur­ing his for­ma­tive years in Ky­oto, Ja­pan, the fam­ily did have one love in com­mon – the joy of clas­si­cal mu­sic.

His mother is a singer and his 87-year-old fa­ther still plays the vi­o­lin.

Dur­ing kinder­garten they gave Ko­matsu the picture book and LP record Gauche the Cel­list and he was hooked.

“It was the story of a cel­list in a coun­try orches­tra who wasn’t the best player,” he said.

“He soon be­came the best player in the orches­tra and was asked to play a solo en­core af­ter a Beethoven sym­phony. As a child I lis­tened to this story over and over again.

“I was shocked by how pow­er­ful Beethoven’s mu­sic was. He is def­i­nitely one of my favourite com­posers; I love all his sym­phonies.”

Ko­matsu came to Perth in 1985 be­fore a two-year stint with ABC Sin­fo­nia in Syd­ney. He made Perth home in 1987 when he joined WASO and on his 30-year an­niver­sary is the only mu­si­cian re­main­ing from the 1987 cello sec­tion.

“I hope I wasn’t the rea­son for them all leav­ing,” he said.

“Perth is the nicest city to live in and I love its spa­cious­ness, beau­ti­ful beaches, easy­go­ing friendly peo­ple and good traf­fic com­pared to Ja­pan.

“The lo­cal swim­ming pool opens at 5.30am and the ocean is open 24 hours a day, so I can swim ev­ery morn­ing.”

Dur­ing his time with WASO, Ko­matsu said he had en­joyed three in­ter­na­tional tours and a Beethoven Fes­ti­val with artis­tic di­rec­tor Asher Fisch.

His love of per­form­ing Beethoven will con­tinue when WASO presents Beethoven 7 at Perth Con­cert Hall this month with con­duc­tor Daniel Cohen.

“I am look­ing for­ward to see­ing how mae­stro Daniel Cohen is go­ing to re­hearse and per­form this Beethoven, com­pared to Asher Fisch’s ver­sion,” he said.

“I hope the au­di­ence en­joys the mu­sic and feels Beethoven’s in­cred­i­ble en­ergy.”

Ko­matsu said he had passed his love of mu­sic to sons Adam (18) and Sebastian (16), who play cello and trum­pet. They also share his love of bas­ket­ball, which to Ko­matsu’s de­light is even stronger than their mu­si­cal as­pi­ra­tions.

Tanya MacNaughton

Picture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d465732

Cel­list Shigeru Ko­matsu from Ja­pan joined WASO in 1987.

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