The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
Born in Fukushima prefecture in northern Japan, Akiko Ohtomo studied music and conducting in Tokyo, also working at the same time as assistant conductor to Mstislav Rostropovich in Kobe, and to Naoto Otomo for the opera Jr Butterfly at the 52nd Puccini Festival in Italy.
In 2005, she was awarded first prize at the International Academy of Advanced Conducting Competition in St Petersburg and became a guest conductor of the Congress Orchestra (St Petersburg Philharmonic Society) for the 2005-6 season. She moved to Russia to study 'Musin technique' at the St Petersburg State Conservatory.
In April 2012 she organised and conducted a memorial concert in London for the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster in Fukushima, which featured the first performance of a specially written work - Shakunage no odori by Keiko Takano.