Kammerraku is a groundbreaking new chamber music for string quartet with Japanese instruments – an evocative, exciting sound blending two timeless musical traditions. Nami Kineie (shamisen), Yumi Kurosawa (koto), James Nyoraku Schlefer (shakuhachi), and the Voxare String Quartet perform music by Daron Hagen, a New York premiere by Paul Moravec, and world premieres by Somei Satoh and James Nyoraku Schlefer. Kammerraku is a program of Kyo-Shin-An Arts an organization dedicated to the integration of Japanese instruments into Western Classical music.
Daron Hagen - KOTO CONCERTO: GENJI
for Koto and String Quartet
Paul Moravec - SHAKUHACHI QUINTET
for Shakuhachi and String Quartet
James Nyoraku Schlefer - STRING JOURNEY
for Shamisen and String Quartet
Somei Satoh - KYOSHIN
for Koto, Shakuhachi and String Quartet
Emily Ondracek-Peterson, violin
Galina Zhdanova, violin
Erik Peterson, viola
Adrian Daurov, cello
"precision and passion." – THE NEW YORK TIMES
"The gifted Voxare String Quartet" (The New York Times) formed in 2008 and has received extensive critical praise for its inventive programming, technical prowess, and passionate performances. Voxare is a frequent performer at Bargemusic, has been featured live on WNYC's Soundcheck and broadcast on WQXR. Voxare's unique performing activities earned the quartet Chamber Music America's 2010 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Voxare has studied with the Juilliard String Quartet at its String Quartet Seminar and with the Kronos Quartet through Carnegie Hall. In 2010, Voxare was Quartet-in-Residence at the International Computer Music Conference. Their debut recording project, for the Naxos label, will feature works of Daron Hagen.
Nami Kineie was born in 1956 and graduated from the Department of Traditional Japanese Music of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. She has been performing at various stages both at home and abroad as a Nagauta shamisen and modern Japanese shamisen artist. She also plays electric shamisen for band performances and musicals, and actively performs live at various venues. Nami Kineie is also a part-time instructor for the Faculty of Education of the Bunkyo University; Commissioner of Nagauta Kineie ryu; and a Member of the Pro Musica Nipponia. CD "Rhapsody" has been released in 2009.
Yumi Kurosawa was born and raised in Japan, and began studying the 13-stringed-Koto at the age of three with her parents, Kazuo and Chikako Kurosawa. At the age of 15, she began studying the 20-stringed-Koto with Nanae Yoshimura. Ms. Kurosawa received first prize at the National Japanese Koto Competition for students in 1989 and 1992, and a scholarship from The Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan in 1998. In addition to the koto, Ms. Kurosawa also studied computer music while attending Keio University. A member of Hougakuten Concert, Tokyo, her Master qualification is Seiha School (style).In addition to her extensive performances in Japan, including appearances at Suntory Hall, Tokyo, and on NHK Broadcast TV, Ms. Kurosawa has toured in Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Russia, and the US. She moved to New York in 2002, in pursuit of new, innovative collaborations. Over the last decade she has worked with many composers and written her own music, including computer sounds. She has appeared at a wide variety of NYC venues and artistic settings including the Apollo Sound Stage, Joe’s Pub, the Japan Society, Roulette, The Juilliard School, WNYC Radio, and Weill Recital Hall. Ms. Kurosawa also continues to perform in Japan and her first CD, "Beginning of a Journey", which features many of her own compositions, was released in 2009.
James Nyoraku Schlefer, is a Grand Master of the shakuhachi, and one of only a handful of non-Japanese artists to have achieved this rank. Mr. Schlefer received the Dai-Shi-Han (Grand Master) certificate in 2001, and his second Shi-Han certificate in 2008 from Mujuan Dojo, in Kyoto. In Japan, Schlefer has worked with Reibo Aoki, Katsuya Yokoyama, Yoshio Kurahashi, Yoshinobu Taniguchi, and Kifu Mitsuhashi.
Mr. Schlefer has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, and BAM, as well as multiple venues across the country and in Japan, Indonesia, Brazil and Europe. As a composer, he has written multiple chamber and orchestral works combining Japanese and Western instruments as well as numerous pieces solely for traditional Japanese instruments. Mr. Schlefer is the Artistic Director of Kyo-Shin-An Arts, and the curator for the Japanese music series at the Tenri Cultural Institute in NYC. He teaches shakuhachi at Columbia University, a broad spectrum of Western and World music courses at New York City Technical College (CUNY), and performs and lectures at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Mr. Schlefer has four solo recordings, Wind Heart (which travelled 120,000,000 miles aboard the Space Station MIR) Solstice Spirit (1998), Flare Up (2002), and In the Moment (2008).