'My Magnificent Mother' ~ Empress story by Calista Kazuko
Joan Chika Yamauchi was born in Spokane Washington to Japanese-American parents. She started playing the violin aged six and by the age of eighteen she was touring the world as a soloist, playing in the Hollywood studios, principalling for the Academy of St. Martins and London Sinfonietta and playing with such superstars as Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Bassey. She fell in love and married my wondrous father, violinist Paul Robertson and moved to London. Over the next decade my Empress Mama gained a PhD, became a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, was head of music at a leading public school while being the BEST mother to my sister, brother and me.
Never one to slow down, Empress Mama went on to start an incredible charity the Music Mind Spirit Trust through which she has led the way producing groundbreaking research in music and medicine. As a respected leader in the arts, education and health, she has been a spokeswoman and influenced leaders’ thoughts from Davos to the House of Lords. She is now a diploma examiner for the ABRSM globally and is on the board of Voces UK and a leading music tech company. She is currently developing cutting edge research in music leadership and health, focusing on working with care homes on a new Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s project.
Empress Mama has absolutely changed the world and somehow always had all the time in the world for us. She is a total inspiration: mesmerisingly beautiful, wonderfully wise, heartwarmingly hilarious, kind, selfless, caring, healing, powerful, strong, always smiling, always laughing, always the sunshine. Her name ‘Chika’ means ‘thousands millions happiness’. She is the best mother to us all and I am forever grateful for her infinite, unconditional love.
She may look little, but Empress Mama is one fierce, beautiful Japanese dragon!