Masha's Arigato American premiere in New York
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
On October 12, 2022, Laura Leon had the privilege of giving the American premiere of the solo piano work, Masha's Arigato composed by her sister, Nina Leon, during an event hosted by Ambassador Mikio Mori, Consul General of Japan in honor of Mr. Takanobu Fuchikami, Mayor of Tsuruga City.
Tsuruga is the Japanese port city to which her mother Masha Leon and grandmother Zelda Bernstein arrived, having received transit visas--known as 'visas' for life'-- along with more than 4,000 Jewish refugees saved by the heroic Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who was posted in Kaunus, Lithuania during World War II. Sugihara courageously issued 2,139 transit visas to Japan.
Masha's Arigato was a collaboration between Laura and her sisters, Nina and Karen in gratitude to Chiune Sugihara and the people of Japan, and in tribute to their mother.
The recent publication of the score, featuring the CD cover art, along with information and historical background about Sugihara and the work--in both English and Japanese--was designed by Karen Leon.