We are proud to announce that 12-year-old conservatory student Taichi Okumura has been awarded first prize in the prestigious International Golden Classical Music contest and has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall on November 1, 2020.
Taichi plays alto sax in Rob Thorsen’s “Night Dreamers Ensemble” and attends Pacific Trail Middle School. Taichi is passionate about jazz, but in September of 2019 decided to branch out into classical music. Classical music lacks the “swing” feel and improvisation that Taichi loves about jazz. However, while working on a classical piece he found the same “splendor,” as he puts it, as jazz.
Taichi was a finalist in San Diego Youth Symphony’s competition but lost points with the judges because his piece had a “jazzy atmosphere.” This setback only strengthened Taichi’s determination to improve and continue to compete in classical music competitions. He entered The International Golden Classical Music Competition and won first prize in the woodwinds category playing his alto sax.
Taichi believes there is a clear synergy between classical music and jazz and is discovering more and more that music has no boundaries. Congratulations, Taichi!