Nagasawa 05 Grad

Black and gold graphic bar
 June 7, 2005

Carol Selkin
Media Relations Director 
(323) 343-3044


Laura Ferreiro
Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050


Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

For immediate release:

Blind Pianist Yuki Nagasawa Earns
Master’s Degree in Musicology

Los Angeles, CA – “Playing the piano is a great way to communicate with people,” says Yuki Nagasawa, a gifted blind pianist who will earn her master’s degree in musicology and attend the Master’s Hooding Ceremony at California State University, Los Angeles on Friday, June 10 at 5:30 p.m. “It allows me to express myself…it’s a beautiful sound.”

Nagasawa, a native of Osaka, Japan, was blind at birth, and began studying the piano at the age of three, after hearing Chopin on the radio and telling her parents it was so beautiful she wished she could play. She won her first competition at the age of 16, and continued to give performances and win competitions throughout the world. While at a music festival in Austria, she met Robert Ward, a Cal State L.A. faculty member in applied music who teaches piano. Impressed with her performance, Ward suggested that she pursue her Master’s degree in music at Cal State L.A. Having heard good things about the University’s music program, she enrolled in 1998. To make her acclimation a little easier, Nagasawa’s mother came from Japan for a month to help familiarize her daughter with her new surroundings – walking the paths of the University with her so she could memorize the routes to her classes using a white cane. '

Nagasawa studies for her classes with the help of a reader who is provided by Cal State L.A.’s Office for Students with Disabilities. She reads music using CCTV, which enlarges lines of music and displays them on a monitor. Although legally blind, Nagasawa has enough sight to decipher the enlarged lines of music to memorize them for performances.

An ebullient young woman known for her positive and loving philosophy toward life, Nagasawa hopes to share her passion for music with others by publishing articles about music and perhaps teaching. She hopes to enter into a music doctoral program in the near future. “I want to do everything I can in the music field,” she says enthusiastically.

This will be Nagasawa’s second master’s degree—she earned her first in piano performance at CSULA in 2002. Nagasawa’s family plans to fly in from Osaka for the Master’s Hooding Ceremony on June 10.

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