Touching the Sound: The Improbable Journey of Nobuyuki Tsujii

Touching the Sound: The Improbable Journey of Nobuyuki Tsujii

Mon, 05/30/2022 - 9:00pm - 10:00pm

Nobuyuki Tsujii

Credit: APT

This film traces the artistic development of this remarkable young musician, from an early ability to play piano by ear, to his gold medal triumph in the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to his debut at Carnegie Hall.

Documenting the extraordinary journey of Nobuyuki (Nobu) Tsujii, Touching the Sound airs Monday, May 30 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV. In June 2009 at the age of 19, when Nobu rose from the piano, having completed his final Gold Medal-winning performance at the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, audience members leapt to their feet and jurors were moved to tears by his passionate interpretations. The poignant performances by the young pianist from Japan, and the resulting audience impact, has taken on a momentum that Time Magazine coined “Nobu Fever.” 

He returned to Japan a national hero, much the same way that Van Cliburn himself returned to a ticker-tape parade in New York City after winning his first Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia in 1958, causing a thaw in the Cold War between the Soviet Union and America. Twenty news crews greeted Nobu at the Tokyo airport. Touching the Sound follows Nobu from his first experience with music as a toddler, through lessons and early struggles to learn the repertoire, to his success at local and international competitions as a pre-teen. 

This film is part of WXXI's Move to Include initiative is a partnership with the Golisano Foundation designed to promote inclusion for people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. Through programming and special events, WXXI and the Golisano Foundation look to build a more inclusive community by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life. To learn more, visit: