It can take him a month to learn a large piece.
He can read Braille, but prefers to learn music by ear. He has assistants record small sections of a work, keeping left and right hand separate, and he listens to each recording until he has memorized the piece. The process, as he explains, is often time consuming:
“I call these tapes ‘music sheets for ears.’ It takes me a few days to complete a short piece, but it takes one month to complete a big sonata or concerto.”
He has released 10 CDs of famous piano pieces, as well as his own original works. He also works as a soundtrack composer for movies.
In 2016, he returned to Carnegie hall to perform his “Elegy for the Victims of the Tsunami” in remembrance of the victims of the tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011.