Masaya Kamei ‘feels the melody’ in Cliburn audition

March 10, 2022

As a toddler, Masaya Kamei preferred playing on a keyboard to playing outside.

The toddlers bang on the keys, but Kamei’s mother noticed that it wasn’t just noise, he was playing the melody of a song they had recently heard. After that, his mother bought a piano. Now 20, Kamei hopes to compete for a medal at the sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition this summer.

When he first took the stage at the PepsiCo Recital Hall, he was a little nervous and cold, Kamei said, but he adapted quickly.

He went through two Liszt compositions and then felt he was able to show 90% of his full ability on the keys.

For Kamei, acting comes naturally.

“The piano is like eating, like sleeping,” he said. “I feel the melody or the music more than I think about it.”

Anton Nel, former winner of the Naumburg International Piano Competition, is a member of the jury during the selection auditions which will decide which pianists will advance to the next round.

“I guess everyone who plays here will be great,” Nel said of the current group of candidates. “But sometimes, when you least expect it – and that’s part of the magic of what music really is and what drives me to it every day – you get hit when you least expect it. less or you’re moved by a performance, and that’s special. So I look forward to those moments.”

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