After watching his daughter Hikaru Imaizumi perform her senior recital, Hideyuki Imaizumi said he could not believe he was listening to his own daughter perform so professionally. Attending the June 6 concert with his wife Ayako, both of whom were in town for her graduation, Hideyuki said he felt peaceful and happy as he watched his daughter perform.
“As she was playing her last piece, I thought I was hearing a man playing, not a woman. Even though I have seen and heard her practicing at home since she was a child, here tonight I thought, ‘This cannot be my child!’” he said.
Dressed in a sparkly and deep royal blue gown, Hikaru began her performance with a bow to the audience. Her selected pieces were from composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Maurice Ravel, and Frederic Chopin.
Arai said, “My favorite was ‘Jeux D’eau’ [by Ravel]. I felt like the song was upbeat and I liked how the tempo kept changing. The melody was easy to remember. Sometimes classical songs can be boring, but this one wasn’t.”
As she played her six pieces, she shifted back and forth on the bench and moved her body to express the emotion behind each song. The audience was silent; during softer songs, the audience could her the creaking from her bench as she moved.
She played with no sheet music. Latecomers were held in the lobby of the auditorium until intermission; the audience, comprised of students, faculty, missionaries, and community members, doubled in size after the intermission. At the close of the recital, the applause was resonating in the walls of the museum.
Asanuma said the night was emotional. She and Iamizumi met as freshmen here at BYU-Hawaii, kept in touch during their missions, returned, and have been good friends ever since. She said, “We’re in the same major. It’s been incredible watching her through the years. She practices every day. I’ve seen her grow so much in performing.”
Ayako said Hikaru started learning music at three years of age and began playing the piano at six. “We have four children and they are all musically talented. Hikaru is the youngest so she heard her siblings playing and learned easily that way.”
Mao Arai, a junior in accounting from Japan, said Iamizumi’s performance was amazing. He said, “Karu is one of my best friends so I wanted to come see and support her performance.” Arai was one of several audience members who brought flowers for Iamizumi.
She said they planned to celebrate after the recital by attending a celebration of all the piano performance graduating seniors at a professor’s home.
Arai said he feels sad Iamizumi is graduating because “we’ve hung out a lot, and I feel like I’m losing one of my best friends. I’m sad but I feel happy for her. She’s staying and going to teach piano as a professor here so I will still be able to see her.”