Interview with out pianist Sara D.Buechner

By Helen Polychronakos

Sara Davis Buechner

1. Out male-to-female pianist

Née David in Baltimore, USA, Sara Davis Buechner came out as a transgendered woman in the 1990's. She was in the midst of a brilliant career as a classical pianist and teacher. A graduate of the music program at New York's Julliard School, she was awarded the bronze medal in the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition. Held in Moscow every four years, the Tchaikovsky is the Olympics of classical music: very prestigious!

Sara Davis Buechner

She expected acceptance from her artistic colleagues, especially in a progressive city like New York, where she'd built her reputation. Instead, her career came to a halt.

Buechner spoke to Tokyo Wrestling from her part-time home in Osaka, where her partner Kayoko's mother owns a house. Currently an associate professor of music at the University of British Columbia, Buechner is spending a sabbatical year in Japan. Her sarcastic wit and frequent laughter turn her sometimes heart-breaking story into one of hope and inspiration. She talks about being beaten up as a child because of the clothes she wore, coming out in the conservative world of classical music, the difficult process of transitioning, her impressions of homophobia and transphobia in America and Japan, and how she rebuilt her career to become an inspiration for students and audiences around the world.

★Sara Davis Buechner's Official Homepage/

Photo: Helen Polychronakos

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