Kathy Supové Piano; James Nyoraku Schlefer, Shakuhachi;
Jennifer Choi, Violin; Wendy Law, cello.
co-presented with Kyo-Shin-An Arts
Iconic pianist Kathleen Supové is joined by violinist Jennifer Choi, cellist, Wendy Law and shakuhachi virtuoso James Nyoraku Schlefer, in a dynamic program showcasing works for piano trio with shakuhachi. The concert features two world premieres: "Hollow" a new Kyo-Shin-An Arts commission byRandy Woolf for shakuhachi and piano trio, and "Four Cups of Tea" a new duo for shakuhachi and piano by Mari Kimura. Also featured on the program: Adrian Hong Lam's "Separated... at the Human Labyrinth of Asakusa temple" for shakuhachi and piano trio, and Carloline Shaw's "The Walking Man" for solo shakuhachi.
About the Performers
Kathleen Supové is one of America's most acclaimed and versatile contemporary music pianists, known for continually redefining what it means to be a pianist/keyboardist/performance artist in today's world. In addition to her compelling virtuosity, she is also known for her boundary-breaking ways of breaking the wall between performer and audience. After winning top prizes in the Gaudeamus International Competition for Interpretation of Contemporary Music, she began her career as a guest artist at the prestigious Darmstadt Festival in Germany. Since then, Ms. Supové has presented solo concerts entitled The Exploding Piano, in which she has championed the music of countless contemporary composers—minimalists, postminimalists, and experimentalists. The most notable are Frederic Rzewski, Louis Andriessen, Terry Riley, Chinary Ung, Giacinto Scelsi, Iannis Xenakis, John Adams, and Alvin Curran, as well as younger composers including Randall Woolf, David Lang, Nick Didkovsky, Eve Beglarian, Daniel Bernard Roumain, John Zorn, Carolyn Yarnell, Phil Kline, Lukas Ligeti, Kitty Brazelton, Aaron Jay Kernis, Mary Ellen Childs, Michael Daugherty, Marti Epstein, Patrick Grant, Eleanor Sandresky, Dan Becker, Elaine Kaplinsky, Dafna Naphtali, Jed Distler, Nicholas Brooke, Lois V Vierk, Marita Bolles, Gene Pritsker, Robert Carl, Rob Zuidam, Belinda Reynolds and many others. She is also involved in commissioning projects with even younger, emerging composers such as the iconoclastic Michael Gatonska, singer/performance artist Corey Dargel, composer/video v.j. Peter Kirn, and Gameboy composer Bubblyfish.
The Exploding Piano has become a multimedia experience by using electronics, theatrical elements, vocal rants, performance art, staging, and collaboration with artists from other disciplines. This has taken on several different dimensions. First, Ms. Supové has been commissioning and presenting a new repertory of works for piano and electronics. Secondly, she has been presenting a number of Concert Theater works, most notably the evening-length staged piece for singing/reciting/moving pianist called Jitters, (music by Randall Woolf and texts/directing by Valeria Vasilevski). Furthermore, her Exploding Piano concerts almost always have original monologues and theatrical sketches surrounding the pieces. Kathleen is a featured performer in the Summer 2000 issue of Yale Theater Journal, which is devoted to Concert Theater. In 2001, she was made a Yamaha Artist and is working on a long-term project of commissioning a body of works for Yamaha Disklavier. She has done dance collaborations with The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Susan Marshall and Co., Heidi Latsky, and Nami Yamamoto. Ms. Supové has received commissioning and production grants from Meet The Composer, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The Greenwall Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and American Composers Forum, among others.
She has appeared with The Lincoln Center Festival, The Philip Glass Ensemble, Bang On a Can Marathon, Music at the Anthology, Composers' Collaborative, Inc., and at many other venues, ranging from concert halls such as Carnegie to theatrical spaces such as The Kitchen to clubs such as The Knitting Factory and The Cutting Room. She is currently an artist-in-residence at The Flea Theater in NYC, where she regularly presents her newest Exploding Piano concerts each season. Recently, she was a featured performer in two prestigious festivals: The Ussachevsky Memorial Festival (Pomona College, Claremont, CA) and the NIME Festival (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) in New York City.
In 2004, Ms. Supové released Infusion on the Koch International Classics label, featuring four contemporary solo works for piano and electronics. It is available through CDBaby, iTunes, and other digital sales outlets. Other recordings can be found on the Tzadik, CRI, Innova, New World, Neuma, Bridge, Centaur, OO, and XI labels. In addition to being a soloist, Kathleen is a member of the art-rock band Dr. Nerve. She also curates Music With A View, a free music + discussion series at The Flea Theater.
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
Tenri Cultural Institute
43A West 13th Street, New York, NY