6 things you don’t know about Naoko Yoshino

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Naoko Yoshino performs at the closing concert on June 7 at the Lyon & Healy 150th Birthday Festival; she will also perform on June 6.
1 What was the moment you knew you wanted to become a harpist?
I really cannot think of a specific moment. Since my mother is also a harpist, there was always a harp in the house growing up, and after I started playing, the harp somehow felt so natural to me, and somewhere, I always knew that the harp would always be a part of my life.

2 Favorite food:
I love to travel, and when I do, I always enjoy trying the local cuisine, because that gives me a better idea of the country and culture. Through my travels, I’ve especially come to like Vietnamese food, Turkish cuisine, and also the home cooking in Austria. At the same time though, I must say I now most feel at home eating Japanese cuisine, which has so much variety of different kinds of cooking.

3 The most important element of good harp technique is:
A beautiful and clean sound (tone quality), and suppleness.

4 What was your first harp?
I started at age 6 on an Aoyama Irish harp.

5 What’s the career accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
Having been able to have met and worked with so many wonderful musicians. Each one has given me so much inspiration and unforgettable moments! To name a few: Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Seiji Ozawa and Claudio Abbado (conductors), Aurele Nicolet and Wolfgang Schulz and Emmanuel Pahud (flutists), Gidon Kremer (violinist), Nobuko Imai (violist), and Toru Takemitsu (composer).

6 What’s the best advice you can give an aspiring harpist?
The most important thing of all is to love the harp and also love the music! Always work hard, and always remember: the music itself is what comes first!

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