Nobuyuki Tsujii was born sightless, but not without abundant talent. At the age of 2, he began to peck out melodies on a toy piano after merely hearing his mother hum them. At 4, he began formal study.

In 1995, the 7-year-old won first prize at the All-Japan Music of Blind Students by the Tokyo Helen Keller Association. At age 10, he debuted with the Century Orchestra of Osaka. He went on to earn top honors at the 15th International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland, as well as the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

The guest from across the Pacific will be a featured performer as the Mobile Symphony Orchestra runs through a survey of works from another Asian country, Russia. The program lists pieces from Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky, but all eyes will be trained on the man with his own eyes focused nowhere.

Saturday’s show is at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s matinee is at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 to $65. Students K-12 receive free admission to the matinee when accompanied by a paying adult. Just download the Big Red Ticket from the MSO website.

For more info, call 251-432-2010 or go to

Russian Festival from Mobile Symphony Orchestra
Where: Saenger Theatre (6 S. Joachim St.)
When: April 12 & 13