Autumn Chrysanthemums III
The return of Yoko Reikano Kimura, a virtuoso Master of the traditional Japanese koto and shamisen, and an outstanding singer. This performance will feature classic pieces from the Edo period by Mitsuhashi Kengyo and Katajima Kengyo, and compositions by Japanese composers Tadao Sawai and Hiroki Tamaki.
This special program adds the percussion wizardry of Kory Grossman for the world premiere of Daniel Levitan's new duo for shakuhachi and marimba (a Kyo-Shin-An Arts commission), Yoshiko Kanda's "Bolero" for shamisen and marimba, and James Nyoraku Schlefer's stunning score "Oashisu" for koto, shakuhachi, cello and percussion.
Featuring the special guest appearance of PearsonWidrig DanceTheater, Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig Artistic Directors, in a reprise of their original, site-adaptive choreography for "Oashisu", with the support of NewMusic USA Live Music for Dance.
Show by Tadao Sawai solo shamisen
Akashi by Kitajima-kengyo solo koto
Sho Chiku Bai by Mitsuhasi-koto koto, shakuhachi
Dance of the Darkness from Two Dances by Hiroki Tamaki koto, cello
Bolero with S and M by Yoshiko Kanda shamisen, marimba
Duo*, World Premiere by Daniel Levitan, shakuhachi and marimba
* A Kyo-Shin-An Arts commission
Oashisu (Oasis) by James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi, koto, cello, percussion
About the Performers
Koto/shamisen performer and singer, Yoko Reikano Kimura has concertized around the world. The New York Times described her shamisen playing and singing as "superb." For her koto playing, she was touted as "beautiful" and "genuinely talented" by Hogaku no Tomo (Japan). She has graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts and Music. She continued her studies at the NHK School for Young Professionals and the Institute of Traditional Japanese Music. Yoko received a scholarship from the Agency of Culture Affairs of Japan. Her teachers include Kono Kameyama (Yamada school), Akiko Nishigata (contemporary shamisen music), and a Living National Treasure, Senko Yamabiko (Kato-bushi shamisen). Yoko received her stage name "Reikano" from Hiroko Nakanoshima VI and "Reiko Yamabiko" for her Kato-bushi shamisen playing. She is continuing her performances in Japan and holds a teaching position at the Institute of Traditional Japanese Music, an affiliate of Senzoku Gakuen College of Music. Yoko has won numerous awards including the First Prize at the prestigious 10th Kenjun Memorial National Koto Competition as the first Yamada school player. Yoko won the Debut Concert Audition at Toppan Hall, Tokyo and received the First Prize and the Osaka Chinese Counsel Award at the Great Wall International Music Competition. She won the Japanese music audition for NHK FM radio on solo shamisen. In 2004 she performed "Shamisen concerto" at the National Olympic Memorial Center. In 2008 she performed at the Kabuki-za in Tokyo for the play, "Sukeroku" starring Danjuro Ichikawa XII. In 2011 she was awarded the Janet Latz Professional Fellowship with her husband, Hikaru Tamaki. As a koto/ shamisen soloist and collaborator, Yoko has performed with many first-rate traditional Japanese performers and worked with such artists/musicians as Heiner Goebbels, the Wien Soristen Trio, Arianna Quartet, Ciompi Quartet, Euclid Quartet, Ikuro Fujiwara, Junko Koshino, Kenny Endo, Yasuko Yokoshi. Since 2004, Yoko has performed in such places as Poland, Switzerland, France, Lithuania, Korea, China, Israel, Qatar, Italy, Turkey and the South America.
Currently the principal cellist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Hikaru Tamaki also concertizes regularly as a soloist and a chamber musician. Before joining the Philharmonic, he was an associate principal cellist of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and performed under the baton of Daniel Barenboim at Carnegie Hall. As part of his duties with the Philharmonic, he performs regularly with the other principal string players in the Freimann String Quartet. Born in Kyoto, Japan in 1975, he studied with Noboru Kamimura and Peter Seidenberg. Studies in the United States began in 1994 at the Eastman School of Music, where he was named a George Eastman Scholar, and continued at Rice University and Northwestern University. He was awarded a bachelor of arts degree from Rice and a master of music degree from Northwestern University, where his teachers were Paul Katz and Hans Jorgen Jensen. Hikaru was a prizewinner in the prestigious All Japan Viva Hall Cello Competition in 2000. Other awards include first Prize at the Society of American Musicians Young Artists Competition and the Bach Festival Young Artists Competition in Kalamazoo, Michigan. During visits to Japan each year, he gives solo performances, lecture concerts and chamber concerts. In 2009, he began collaborations with his wife, Yoko Reikano Kimura (koto/shamisen) and they have given concerts and workshops at various cities in Japan and the US. In 2011, they were awarded the Janet Latz Professional Development Fellowship in recognition of their duo activities. Solo performances with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic have included the Dvorak Cello Concerto, Don Quixote and most recently the Haydn Cello Concerto. In 2008 he released his first solo album, which includes the works of J.S. Bach and Toshiro Mayuzumi.
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. He received the Dai-Shi-Han(Grand Master) certificate in 2001, and his second Shi-Han certificate in 2008, from the Mujuan Dojo in Kyoto. 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's composition style draws upon his deep connections to Western classical and rock music, as well as traditional and modern styles of Japanese music. He writes for koto, shamisen, and shakuhachi, with and without Western instruments, combining these instruments with piano trio, string quartet and orchestra. Mr. Schlefer has been commissioned by Dancing in the Streets and PearsonWidrig Dance Theater, with the support of the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust (now the AMC) Live Music for Dance Program; the Sartori Ensemble, SONOS Chamber Orchestra and Kyo-Shin-An Arts, with three world premieres in New York and Kyoto in 2012. His most recently completed commission is a Concertante for chamber orchestra with solo shakuhachi, koto, violin and cello that premiered on May 31, 2013, with Orchestra of the Swan.
"James Nyoraku Schlefer occupies a special place in [New York's] cultural life, composing and performing music that bridges Western and Japanese styles." The New Yorker
Kory Grossman Kory Grossman holds a Master's Degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He is currently a member of the American Symphony Orchestra and serves as principal percussionist with the Bard Music Festival. Other musical organizations he performs with regularly include The Stamford Symphony, Mostly Mozart, The New Jersey Symphony, The American Composers' Orchestra, and The New York Pops. He was a founding member of The Manhattan Marimba Quartet, a group that commissioned a huge body of new work and created a repertoire where none had previously existed. He has played in numerous Broadway shows, most recently, GIANT at the Public Theatre. Others include Follies, Les Miserables, 42nd Street, and Ragtime. Mr. Grossman has also worked with a variety of contemporary artists ranging from Chita Rivera to Queen Latifah.