Hayato Sumino, for relaxed classical music

Every Monday, International mail invites you to discover an influencer. This week: Hayato Sumino. The Japanese pianist uses YouTube to break the codes of classical music, navigating between Chopin, jazz and video game soundtracks.

“Hayato Sumino does not stick to the traditional image of the classical pianist and obviously has a lot of fun defying expectations.” The musician, whose Nikkei Asia paints the portrait, is also known by his pseudonym on YouTube: Cateen. His repertoire is characterized by eclecticism. “In addition to the masterpieces of great classical masters such as Chopin and Rachmaninoff, which he performs in costume in concert halls, […] Caten sometimes adopts a more relaxed image, to interpret a remarkable string of musical genres, from jazz to pop, passing by the credits of anime”. details the Japanese weekly.

Aged 26, Hayato Sumino has been posting videos of his performances since his high school days – initially interpretations of music from video games. This broadcast on the Internet is close to his heart: “One of the main interests is to be able to address everyone”, he explains to Nikkei Asia. On YouTube, he has nearly 900,000 subscribers.

Award-winning pianist

If his passion for the keyboard is old, in 2018, “He was still enrolled in the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo and doing an internship at a tech start-up, hoping to find a job upon graduation” . But in August of that year, he won one of the most prestigious Japanese competitions in his discipline, the Grand Prix organized by the National Association of Piano Teachers, which aims to reveal young



Known as Nikkei Asian Review until September 2020, the magazine Nikkei Asia maintains the same editorial line. A rigorous coverage of Asia which underlines the interest of the Japanese group Nikkei on the


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