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If you love classical music, and you love Australia, then the name Ayako Ishikawa, is a name you are familiar with. However, if you aren’t familiar with “Devils Ayako”, you’re missing out on an artist that has been given the honorary title of “The Best Performer in Australia“. Already a phenom on the classical music stage, she has recently been making a name for herself on the Internet. Since she began posting her videos to Niconico back in 2013, her popularity has blossomed into a real fan following and she is just hitting her stride now with a string of well-known songs in Japan. Today she takes you “To Zanarkand”…

Who is Ayako Ishikawa and why does she deserve your attention? Check out this resume: the world famous professional violinist was first introduced to the instrument at the age of four, and entered the prestigious Purcell School in London at five, becoming the youngest to ever pass the audition. At 15, she moved to Australia to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at Sydney University. Since graduating, she has shared her talents on the international stage with performances all over the world. She has competed in numerous instrumental competitions winning some of the highest honors possible. Her incredible international achievements have been recognized by the Australian government and she has been issued a Distinguished Talented Permanent Visa, a visa which is “designed for people who are internationally recognized for exceptional and outstanding achievement in the arts.”

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Now, she is working to win the hearts and fans of her home country. What better way to do that than by playing some of Japan’s most popular songs! She started back in July 2013 with “The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku”. Her video received an immense amount of praise and is now one of the most well-known songs on Niconico.

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Her newest video is also a bit of an oldie, she first performed it at her Christmas Eve concert in December of 2013, but recently recorded it again so she could share it with everyone.

“To Zanarkand” is an unforgettable theme for what is an unforgettable game for many people, Final Fantasy X. Her stunning performance is one where you can’t help but hit the share button. For fans of the game, the song will bring back a flood of memories. For those unfamiliar with the game, the haunting melody, coupled with Ayako’s abilities is enough to move you. You just might find yourself wondering what sort of place Zanarkand is!

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Keen observers will notice a Morinaga Chocolate Ball box sitting on the table. What does chocolate candy have to do with Final Fantasy X? Those who have played the game know there is no confection connection. But if you look carefully at the name in Japanese, “chokobo-ru“, you’ll see the familiar name of the famous birds of Final Fantasy, Chocobo! Ayako Ishikawa likes to include these little pieces of fan-service in her videos. See if you can see the connection in her other videos.

There are a bunch more videos on Ayako’s YouTube page and her Niconico page, so be sure to check them out. She will surely continue to dazzle us with her musicality. Let’s hope she covers your favorite song next!

Source: Byokan Sunday
Images: YouTube(ayakoishikawatv), 石川綾子(Ayako Ishikawa)FBページFinal Fantasy Wiki (Square Enix)