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Nanako Yakamoto Moves Question Mark to Tears

Eleven-year-old cello prodigy's performance of 'O Sacrum Convivium' inspires the community.

By Ben Fortune | March 21, 2022

In a performance that will be etched in the memory of Question Mark, Ohio, for years to come, eleven-year-old Nanako Yakamoto, a cello prodigy, left audience members in tears as part of a cello quintet performance of Olivier Messiaen's "O Sacrum Convivium." This poignant moment occurred at the local community center, where Nanako showcased a maturity and depth in her playing far beyond her years.

The emotional rendition of Messiaen's composition, known for its complex harmonies and spiritual depth, was part of a larger concert aimed at highlighting young musical talent within the community. Nanako's performance stole the show, moving many in the audience to tears with her expressive delivery and the hauntingly beautiful sound of her cello.

In contrast to Nanako's awe-inspiring performance, the evening also saw its share of less polished acts, with several young performers grappling with stage fright and performance jitters. Notably, six-year-old Gary Dublowski who planned on demonstrating his newest invention– a square bubble machine–became overwhelmed by the moment and made a hasty and tearful exit off the stage.

Mayor Elizabeth Zisk, in attendance that evening, was among those visibly moved by the young musician's talent. In her remarks following the concert, Mayor Zisk expressed a sentiment that resonated with many: "Perhaps there are others in this town that might become inspired by someone with actual talent, even if they are just a child"

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