• PianistsHiroko Higashino Yurina Furukawa Kiwa Usami
  • Music producer/ArrangementYukiyo Takahashi
  • ConductorSatoshi Yoneda
  • OrchestraYokohama Sinfonietta
  • ChorusThe Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo
  • December 21, 2023
  • Suntory Hall, Tokyo

Unprecedented symphonic performance played by three pianists with disabilities, an orchestra and a chorus, made possible by Yamaha’s technology and the passion of musicians.

Project Movie

Concert Movie

Awaken Your Inner Pianist.

“I want to be able to play the piano. This simple yet powerful wish of a girl with a disability spurred the development of the “AI-assisted Auto-accompanied Piano.” Harnessing the capabilities of AI, this innovative instrument has made it possible for individuals of any disability, experience level, or age to play the piano independently, even if they can only move one finger.

In the year 2023, three people with disabilities in both upper and lower limbs embraced a remarkable challenge. They joined forces with one of Japan's prominent orchestras and choruses in the Concert of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Beyond merely playing the piano by themselves, these musicians achieved the dream of playing with an orchestra. No matter your physical limitation or your age, you can embark on this musical journey and awaken your inner pianist thanks to the power of Yamaha AI.

Enabled by Yamaha's cutting-edge technology, 'THE JOYFUL PIANO' introduces the revolutionary “AI-assisted Auto-accompanied Piano.”

This innovative instrument responds to a key strike by seamlessly generating accompaniment and pedal movements that effortlessly align with the melody. Designed to empower players of all abilities, ages, and experiences, it enables them to bring their desired performance to life.

In preparation for a special concert featuring three physically disabled individuals attempting a collective performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony alongside an orchestra and chorus, we have incorporated groundbreaking technologies, such as 'ultra-low latency sound generation'. These advancements enhance the connection between the players and the piano, ensuring that the piano's sound emerges distinctly amid the orchestra and chorus.

Furthermore, our commitment to showcasing the unique talents of each pianist led us to implement technologies that accurately capture and reflect their individual playing styles and physical movements. This thoughtful integration aims to support the pianists in delivering their best performance, allowing them to shine amidst the orchestra and chorus.

AI-assisted Auto-accompanied Piano.


[ Image ] Hiroko Higashino

Hiroko Higashino

[ Image ] Hiroko Higashino

Residing in Yokohama, Kanagawa Pref., she once tried to take piano lessons but had to give up due to ectrodactyly on the right hand. She still plays the piano today but with the right hand that tends to jerk, cannot perform as she desires. Having never given up a career in music, she learned ballet, jazz dance and vocal music while in university. After graduation she performs in musicals and on dance stages and works as a SLOW CIRCUS trainer, while having a job. She appeared in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies.

[ Image ] Yurina Furukawa

Yurina Furukawa

[ Image ] Yurina Furukawa

Born in Yokohama, Kanagawa, she has difficulty in moving her body due to congenital myopathy, a serious disease of muscles, and usually spends her time lying on a bed. Her love of music started in childhood as she used to strike electronic keyboard with her right thumb. In August 2021, she played “Pomp and Circumstance” on the AI-assisted Piano placed in Yokohama City Hall from her home keyboard, as part of "the AI-assisted Piano remote performance experiments”. Since then, she has dreamed of playing with an orchestra. Although too weak to play a real piano, she is passionate to play with all her heart to deliver wonderful music to audience.

[ Image ] Kiwa Usami

Kiwa Usami

[ Image ] Kiwa Usami

Born in Suginami Ward, Tokyo, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after birth and uses wheelchair due to disability of both upper and lower limbs. She can move her right hand to some extent while involuntary movement affects her left hand. When she was a second grader she saw her older sister taking piano lessons and followed suit. In 2015, inspired by her piano performance as a student of Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged, University of Tsukuba, Tokyo University of the Arts and Yamaha jointly developed of the AI-assisted Piano. Since then she has appeared in many concerts including “Disabilities and Arts” (2015), “Shibuya Zunchaka” (2017), and “Minnade Tanoshimu Concert” (Concert enjoyed by everyone) (2022). She practices piano in a circle called “Nocturne by an index finger” and regularly performs at concerts.


[ Image ] Yukiyo Takahashi
© Studio Diva
[ Image ] Yukiyo Takahashi
© Studio Diva
Music producer/Arrangement

Yukiyo Takahashi

Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, Faculty of Music, Department of Composition, and completed the graduate school of the same university with honors. Currently part-time lecturer at the university and Director of The Japan Federation of Composers Inc. She composes and arranges music in numerous genres, and her works are performed in concerts and TV programs both in Japan and abroad. She has been engaged in the research of inclusive arts at the university, including the development of the AI-assisted Piano.

[ Image ] Satoshi Yoneda
[ Image ] Satoshi Yoneda

Satoshi Yoneda

Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, Faculty of Music, Department of Conducting. Received Ataka Award in academic year 2018. Studied conducting under Messrs. Hiroyuki Odano and Ken Takaseki. In 2021 he received honorable mention (and Encouragement Award) at Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting. As one of the most notable young conductors, he guest-conducts NHK Symphony Orchestra and other major orchestras in Japan.

[ Image ] Yokohama Sinfonietta
[ Image ] Yokohama Sinfonietta

Yokohama Sinfonietta

Established within Tokyo University of the Arts in 1998, it is proud to have Kazuki Yamada as music director. The first Japanese orchestra to be invited to La Folle Journée in France, it has performed in many prominent overseas music festivals and issued numerous CDs. Appearance in TV Asahi’s “Untitled concert” and many other media contributes to its high profile. Winner of Yokohama Cultural Award for Culture and Arts Encouragement.

[ Image ] The Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo
© Ayako Nakamura
[ Image ] The Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo
© Ayako Nakamura

The Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo

Japan’s foremost professional choir founded in 1956, its 150 performances per year include regular concerts in Tokyo and Osaka, joint performance with Japanese and visiting orchestras, operas, music appreciation classes for young people, and concerts held abroad. The chorus is also frequently engaged in recordings and TV appearances. Its extensive repertoire covers all choral genres from Japanese and overseas classics to contemporary works.

  • SupervisorOko Arai
  • Special ThanksKazuki Yamada / Serori Haruhata / Rie Nagasugi


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