In October 2022, to mark the 140th anniversary of the enduring friendship between Japan and Serbia, Aisa Ijiri founded the international piano festival ‘Aisa & Friends’ in partnership with Adrijana Barsi, the President of the Hanami Friendship Association in Serbia. 
Esteemed Steinway Artist, Aisa Ijiri, gave a Steinway Spirio Recital in the Belgrade Philharmonic Hall to commence the festival’s debut year. The Festival Opening Gala Concert, which took place in Belgrade’s historic Kolarac, featured award-winning young artists from all over the world in addition to Serbia’s favourite piano duo, LP DUO, and Japanese Pianist Maiko Mori.
The festival journey then unfolded in the captivating town of Vršac, offering a series of masterclasses, workshops, and Prize Winners’ Concerts hosted at the Millenium Centre. The exceptional talent of the Montecatini International Piano Competition Prize was highlighted here. The winners presented an array of musical sentiments to the festival, travelling from Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Ukraine, Russia and the United States.
Encapsulating the concepts of complete enlightenment, power, peace, and unity, the festival represents the core of “Enso” in Japanese Zen philosophy. The concept embodies “Wabi-Sabi” the beauty inherent in imperfection seen in traditional Japanese aesthetics. We share a common goal of developing outstanding musicians and building a music community, with the kind support of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Embassy of Japan, the Embassy of Italy, Steinway & Sons, Piano Land and the Hanami Friendship Association!

Belgrade Philarmonic Hall – Stenway Spirio Launch with Aisa Ijiri

Festival Concerts at Millennium Centre, Vršac

Kolarac Hall, Belgrade