Welcome to the third annual American-Japanese Cultural Concert Series.

The American-Japanese Cultural Concert Series was begun in 2009. This year we are having a joint recital with one of the world's greatest conductors and pianists, Mr. Christoph Eschenbach, who has been my mentor since I was 25 years old.

I still remember the first day I met Maestro Eschenbach. I was the principal oboist with the New World Symphony in Miami and when Mr. Eschenbach joined us as guest conductor, he conducted a great symphony by Schubert, for which I played the oboe solo. It was a wonderful and exhilarating time.

This week, Maestro Eschenbach is the guest conductor for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and next week, he will be going to Carnegie Hall in New York City. Despite his busy schedule, he graciously made time to play with me in this recital.

In addition to his many talents, to me, Mr. Eschenbach is one of the warmest and most generous musician that I know.

I am most appreciative of Maestro Christoph Eschenbach's friendship and guidance over the last 25 years.

-Director of the American-Japanese Cultural Concert Series,
Keisuke Wakao (Boston Symphony Orchestra)