Amateurs and Professionals Perform Together in New York

Hats Kageyama and His Passion

Toshiko Nishino on piano and Hats Kageyama singing.
An all-ages concert in New York City on November 21 will have an eclectic roster—a mix of amateur, professional, and semi-professional pianists and singers who all have one thing in common: their passion for music. Hatsuhiko (“Hats”) Kageyama, himself a vocalist, is organizing “Hats & His Friends in Concert” as part of his role with H&K Arts Management. We spoke with him about the concert and his passion for supporting musicians of all types.

Hats & His Friends in Concert
Baruch College
Engleman Recital Hall
55 Lexington Ave., New York, NY
3:00pm, November 21, 2015

When and why did you begin organizing concerts?

My organization H&K Arts Management Associates, LLC, was established in 2003 with the mission of providing opportunities to talented people regardless of age, nationality, gender, and specialty. Since its establishment, H&K Arts has produced operas and concerts including classical/jazz singing and performances by pianists, violinists, erhu players, orchestras, etc., at venues in Taiwan, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, New York, and Philadelphia. This is the fifth time H&K Arts will be presenting “Hats & His Friends in Concert.”

Does H&K Arts Management do both professional and amateur concerts?

Yes, mostly professional and semi-professional (such as students at music school who aspire to be professional). But the Hats & His Friends concerts in New York are a combination of professional and amateur performers. I want to show the audience that amateurs and professionals share the same level of passion for music!

For the concert on November 21, could you give me a feel for the range of performers and what they will be performing?

We will have three vocalists, including myself, and four pianists. The singers include one professional, one semi-professional, and one amateur performer; and the pianists include one professional, two semi-professionals, and one amateur. They will be performing works by Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Gershwin, Puccini, and more.

Can you talk more specifically about your passion? Is it both for singing and for promoting other artists?

My passion is for both supporting artists and singing myself. I feel there is a huge divide between being “up on stage” and “in the audience.” You really have to commit yourself to being “up on stage” with no assurance for the future, but so many people are on their way to the stage without any assurance. Why? Because I think the arts, especially the performing arts, are essential to our lives. That’s why I feel I need to support them (although my contribution is very small) so that at least some of them can continue to encourage me and all other people to live good lives.

Copyright © 2018 Nancy M. Williams. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Hi Grand Piano Passion!
    I thought this event may be of some interest to your constituents and students!

    15 Amateur Pianists in concert at Carnegie Hall, Sunday April 10th at 3pm, Zankel Hall, with New York Piano Society and Klavierhaus

    Amateur musicians are the guardians and support system of the arts and yet they are often overlooked and underappreciated. Like all artists they yearn to share their work with the world.

    Amateurs’ deep love and commitment to playing music has always been cherished by Klavierhaus, a piano haven for aspiring musicians. In the past, we presented 11 amateur pianists in Zankel Hall under the title of “Living The Performer’s Dream”. This was a beautiful opportunity to showcase these performers to a much wider audience on an international stage.

    Now more than ever it is essential that we kindle the spirit of amateur artists and performers. We are very grateful to partner with the New York Piano Society, “concert pianists who are professionals in fields other than music” and Artistic Director Natasha Paremski, to continue this wonderful endeavor.

    On Sunday April 10th at 3pm at Carnegie Zankel Hall, 15 amateur concert pianists will perform their favorite repertoire, including Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals for two pianos and narrator, and Arensky Piano Trio op.32 with renowned guests, multi-grammy awardee cellist Zuill Bailey and Australian violinist Benjamin Breen.

    All are welcome and we at Klavierhaus look forward to meeting you their and sharing this unique celebration of music.

    Tickets are available here for only $35 and will support NYPS’ amateur pianists.

    • Thank you for writing, Christopher! Grand Piano Passion has been in touch with the New York Piano Society’s new Artistic Director, Dr. Natasha Paremski. We look forward to covering her in a future article.

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