Yufuin Music Festival The 30th Anniversary
Yufuin Music Festival, or YMF, has the longest history of summer music festival in Japan. Yufuin town had experienced a destructive earthquake 29 years ago. The local small village rose like a Phoenix from the ashes, however. The residents tried to have a hope to live through the classical music and other events. The music lovers asked the members of Kyushu Symphonic Orchestra who stayed this spa town by chance. Some members agreed to join the festival. The first YMF was started literally under he starry sky as there was no place to play music.

Since then, Oita has been known as a leading local area under the name of "One village one product campaign." The music festival started by a handful volunteers was then authorize as a specialty of Yufuin together with Yufuin Film Festival started in the next year.

Time flew 30 years since then. Japan as well as Yufuin town have been changed much. It is acknowledged, however, the small local town has been filled with wonderful performances of the great artists such as Momowo Kishibe (violinist) who brought the flavor of Vienna for the first time, Toshio Kuronuma (cellist) who led Mari Iwamoto String Quartet, Fumiaki Kouno (violinist), a pupil of Kuronuma. They all were music directors of YMF. Yes, the sound of real classical music has been echoed on the hills and fields of Yufuin.
Michio Kobayashi (harpsichordist) has long been a leading regular members of YMF.@He loved the land, air, and people of this small valley and decided to become a resident at last. He moved in from Tokyo two years ago. It is quite natural that Kobayashi agreed to be installed as the "YMF General Advisor" after director Kouno. Kobayashi shyly comments that it is something strange to be handed down the position of the director from a younger predecessor. Not like that. He is not only a music director of YMF, but also the top general advisor of all musical cultural activities of this valley. No other places in Japan has such a special advisor. He will be a symbol of Yufuin, a cultural town, and will give full play to his unparalleled talent.

This year will cerebrate the 30th YMF anniversary by performing seasonal concerts including regular summer concert. The site will be newly built Artegio, a wonderful music hall and art museum. This small art museum is within the walk distance from Kobayashi's house through the thick forest looking Mt. Yufu on the right. The new hall will be one of the major sites of the music festival together with Yufuin Central Public Hall that keeps the atmosphere of good old days of Shouwa era.

The annual event is listed on the program. The final artists will be soon nominated on the program. We hope you look through it and appeal to your friends widely. If you want to look back materials like videos or pictures, don't hesitate to contact Yawara Watanabe through the E-mail (yawara@ga3.so-net.ne.jp) or FAX-Phone 03-3531-5955.
As of February 1, 2004 Yawara Watanabe, YMF public relations department