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Teenage pianist Kobayashi Aimi to debut as an actress in "Sleep"

January 29, 2011 @ 1:20 pm
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15 year-old pianist Kobayashi Aimi has announced that she will be debuting as an actress.

The young prodigy, produced by world-famous conductor Seiji Ozawa, will star in the movie "Nemuri Yusurika" ("Sleep"), where she will play a victim of rape. The movie,which will be released in November, will feature music contributed by Kobayashi herself.

Aimi first gave a piano performance before Ozawa at the age of 9, and he immediately recognized her superior technique and expressive power. Ozawa was impressed, and praised her by saying, "She learns very quickly."

In 2004, she became the youngest person ever to win the Chopin International Piano Contest's Asian division at 9 years old.  Shortly after this achievement, she performed under Ozawa's direction at the New York Carnegie Hall.

Her debut as an actress actually happened by chance because of the movie's piano performance scene. While watching her perform, director Sakaguchi Katsumi deeply felt the emotion she conveyed from her performance and subsequently chose her. Sakaguchi said, "I would like to see the presence of not just her music, but of her acting as well."  When asked about her role, Kobayashi said, "I thought it was just going to be a music performance, so when I received a script, I was surprised. But it was fun."

The film will open at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2011, where it will be shown on January 31st, February 1st, and February 5th, giving the world a platform to discover Kobayashi's piano and acting talents.

Sources: Sponichi Annex, IFFR Official Homepage

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