We still have fresh memories of the 42nd International Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade in the clarinet category and brilliant clarinet performance of twenty-six year old clarinetist Jumi Ito from Japan


RL: At the beginning of our interview could you tell me, please, where do you come from?

– I was born in Japan, more precisely in the place called Nagano.

RL: At the 42nd International Jeunesses Musicales Competition held in Belgrade in the category of clarinet, you have won the deserved second- place award?

– Yes. Besides the second award, I have also received the award for best performance of the compulsory Bruno Brun’s composition Four Miniatures.

Bruno Brun: Four Miniatures. Jumi Ito – Clarinet, Antonela Grgin – Piano

RL: Are you satisfied with the awards and did you believe in your winning?

– Of course, I am delighted. I would not have competed if I did not believe.

RL: What are your impressions about the competition and your staying in Belgrade?

It was really a nice competition. People here are so warm and nice. Everything has been well organized. I am so grateful to all who I have met in Belgrade.

RL: Have you already, apart from the awards at the afore mentioned competition, won any important award?

– I won the “most excellent,” award from the Hyogo Prefectural Board of Education for the 11th Annual Kobe International Music Competition in Japan.

Claude Debussy: First Rhapsody for Clarinet and Piano. Jumi Ito – Clarinet, Antonela Grgin – Piano

RL: When did you start and how long have you been playing the clarinet?

Next year it will be 10th  anniversary of my clarinet life.

RL: It would be interesting to find out more about your musical education.

I got the Diploma of Musical Performers from Musashino Academia Musicae, I finished Master studies at Manhattan School of Music, and I have Performance Certificate from the Mannes School of Music in New York.

RL: What are the names of professors who you have mastered playing the clarinet with?

– During the study my teachers were Charles Neidich, Ayako Oshima, Masaharu Yamamoto and Takahiro Denda.

RL: Do you intend to continue studying?

I will pursue an Artist’s Diploma at the Hartt School in the fall of 2012.

RL: I have been informed that you had delighted the audience around the world with your excellent performances, so tell me where did it all happen?

Yes. I love to perform, it fulfills me. I am very active as a soloist on the clarinet and also as a chamber musician. I had a lot of concerts across North America, Asia and Europe.

RL: Which compositions and composers do you prefer to perform?

All that is new is a big challenge for me. I intend to put some pieces for clarinet which you have composed on my repertoire. They are very nice and music is beautiful.

Dejan Despić: Nine Dances for Clarinet Solo (I. & II.), Op. 62. Jumi Ito – Clarinet, Antonela Grgin – Piano

RL: It will be a great pleasure for me to hear your masterful performance of my compositions.

RL: Now, tell me what brand of clarinet do you play?

– I play on the clarinet Buffet RC (B-flat), and also have got Prestige (A) clarinet.

RL: The young clarinetist, readers of this website, will  certainly be interested in what brand and type of mouthpiece and reeds do you use to play on?

– I play on the mouthpiece of a Vandoren B40 brand and I use reeds of a Vandren brand, silver box No. 3 ½.

RL: In the end, tell me will you come to Belgrade again?

I wish I would come to this city soon for some concert or just visiting.

The author Radivoj Lazić and clarinetist Yumi Ito

RL: Then, see you again in Belgrade and until our new interview for the readers of this site, I wish you all the best and a very successful artistic career.

Thanks and best regards to all the young clarinetist and visitors of this site.


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