Kazue Hirano

Kazue Hirano

Eugen visited Japan three times. Before he could fulfil his planned 4th trip to Japan, Eugen sadly passed away, in the same year as my husband. His first visit to Japan was in 1972. 

I was still a student at the time. The first time I heard one of Eugen's songs was on FM radio.

I had been studying classical piano for many years: Bach, Chopin, and Mendelssohn ... to name but a few. But after meeting his music, I was so excited and impressed that one after another, his magic extended those classical numbers into the world of jazz amazingly.

His second visit to Japan was fifteen years later, in 1987. It was for the release of the recording ROKOKO JAZZ II. My husband had already purchased the CD and it was like a dream come true that I was able to go and see him performing live.

When I first met my husband, he was playing a Eugen Cicero cassette in his car. I was very moved. Now that I come to think about it, it was Eugen’s music that first brought us together.

My husband had seen the advertisement for Eugen’s live show in a jazz magazine called “Swing Journal”. We drove for 3 hours to Kochi City to see Eugen’s show. I was overwhelmed to see Eugen playing right in front of me.

Eugen Cicero, Japan 1987

I was becoming more and more enamoured with Eugen’s music, and I fell in love with his splendid performances.

At the time, my daughter and son were 3 and 1 years old respectively. Eugen’s music was constantly being played at home and in the car. It is not an exaggeration to say that my children grew up with Eugen’s delightful music.

His third and final visit to Japan was in 1993. Again, it was a dream come true. This time I was able to take my whole family to the Blue Note in Fukuoka to see Eugen’s performance.

I was not confident in my English at the time, but I wanted to convey my admiration for him, so I prepared a short letter and some photos from his performance in Kochi.

Kazue, Daughter; Eugen

This photo of me, my daughter, and Eugen, was taken by his partner. It is one of my fondest memories, and a picture I truly treasure.

I remember after this meeting my daughter wrote in her school’s essay that she wanted to be a designer or a jazz pianist like Eugen. In fact, she realised her goals to study jazz in Canada at the age of 17 and then went to London to study design. The meeting with Eugen was very impressive and meaningful for her as well.

Three months later my husband was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months to live. However, he was able to fight on for the next 3 years. In his final days, my husband would always play Eugen CDs in his hospital room, and when he finally passed away, he was cremated with several autographed Eugen CDs in his casket.

Later, that same year, I was contacted by Thomas Blaser from Germany. He wrote to inform me that Eugen had sadly passed away before he was able to complete his 4th visit to Japan. Coincidentally in the same year as my husband. I was shocked.

Thomas Blaser informed me that Eugen had cherished the short letter which I had given to him in Fukuoka, and taken very good care of it. I remember sending Thomas Blaser some CDs of Lullabies which was supposed to have been released upon Eugen’s 4th visit to Japan.

Later, a miracle happened, as if sent from my husband and Eugen in heaven. As per my husband’s wishes, I was able to realize the dream of arranging small home concerts and larger performances at concert halls.

Eugen Cicero Lullabies

On the first anniversary of my husband’s death, a wonderful jazz pianist came from Tokyo, and by chance, the first wonderful home concert of many was realized. Then, every year, not only Japanese, but European and American musicians came to perform in my home. This went on for 15 years, one after another. I met a lot of wonderful musicians and it was very entertaining and fulfilling.

I was able to connect with Eugen’s Japanese producer Mr. Makoto Kimata, and my daughter, who was studying design in London at that time, designed a CD jacket for a trio of jazz pianists.

Also, I cooperated in making Eugen's last live recording into a CD. As such, my name is written on the CD jacket of the recording Solo Piano. Released in Japan 5 years ago, I am convinced that the sound source of the three CDs that were planned for the 20th anniversary of Eugen’s death are from the Hungarian Radio Tapes, which I previously received from Pavel Makovinyi of Slovakia, and I passed on to Makoto Kimata.

As an aside, I was very surprised to see that face of a younger Eugen on the CD jacket, it really resembled my husband. It's been 25 years since Eugen and my husband ascended to heaven. But I am still regularly in contact with Thomas BIaser, Pavel Makovinyi and Mitsuru Okayama of Otsu City. I often think about how Eugen brought us all together.

My children also loved jazz piano, and I am proud that they have grown into very respectable adults. Eugen's music has connected many people and I feel he is still looking down on us all from heaven with great fondness.

With gratitude, Kazue Hirano 

EUGEN CICERO, Memories of Kazue Hirano, written in April 2021



一度目の来日は1972年。 私がまだ学生の時でした。 私が初めてオイゲンの曲を聴いたのはFMラジオからでした。私は長年、クラッシックピアノを勉強していたので、バッハ、ショパン、そしてメンデルスゾーンなどが次つぎとジャズにアレンジされていくのを聞いて とても感激し、興奮したものです。

15年後 1987年でした。
"ROCOCO JAZZ II "のリリースの為でした。私の夫はすでにそのCDを購入していて、当時、夫婦でライブに行く事ができるなんて夢のようでした。 私と夫が初めて会った時、彼の車でかかっていたのは何と!オイゲン の曲で、

今から思うと本当に二人を結びつけてくれたのはオイゲン だったように思います。当時のジャズ雑誌"スィングジャーナル"でオイゲンのライブ情報を見つけてくれたのも夫でした。

片道車で三時間かけて高知市のライブハウスにいきましたが、目の前でオイゲン の演奏が見れて、とても感激したものです。 ますますオイゲン の音楽が好きになり、私は彼の華麗な演奏にすっかり恋をしてしまいました。

当時 私の息子は一歳、娘は3歳でしたが、オイゲン の曲はいつも我が家に流れていました。もちろん、車内でも。オイゲンの音楽の中で子供達は育った といっても過言ではありません。

家族全員でオイゲンのライブに行くことはまさしく夢のようで、福岡のブルーノートに旅行を兼ねて行く事ができました。英会話が堪能ではなかった私は この感動を彼にどうしても伝えたくて、短い手紙と、高知でのライブの写真を用意していました。この オイゲンと娘と三人で映っている写真は その時、彼の奥さんが撮ってくれたものです。

(そのような出会いの後に、私の娘が学校の作文で 将来の夢は、オイゲンのようなジャズピアニストか、デザイナーになりたいと書いていたのを思い出します。


その三か月後 私の夫は癌の為、過酷にも半年の余命宣言を受けました。が、彼はそれから三年間頑張りました。彼の病室ではオイゲン の曲をいつも流し、、彼の最期の棺の中には、オイゲンのサイン入りも含め、CDを数枚いれました。

その後、ドイツのトーマス氏から、4度目の来日の前にオイゲン が亡くなったと、手紙をいただきました。奇しくも同じ年に二人共亡くなったことを知り

日本が大好きだったオイゲンは 私の短い手紙を大切に持ってくれていたようでトーマス氏に繋がったのです。4度目の来日で リリースするはずだった"Lullabies"のCDを数枚、トーマス氏に送ったのを覚えています。

この辺りから、まるで天国から、オイゲン と私の夫がエールを送ってくれているかのように、"奇跡"が起こってきたのです。



また、オイゲンの最後のライブ音源をCD化するため協力させていただき、"Solo Piano"のCDジャケットの裏面に私の名前も記載してくれています。

オイゲン没後20周年企画の3枚のCDの音源は以前、スロバキアのパベル氏からいただいていたHungarian Radio Tapesの音源を木全氏に私が送ったのがきっかけと確信しております。 余談ですが、若い時のオイゲン の顔がそのCDジャケットになっていて、私の主人に似ていてとても驚いたものです。


オイゲン の事を想い続けています。私の子供達もジャズピアノをこよなく愛し、今では立派な大人に成長してくれました。



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