Arts at Tenri presents


Friday, March 20, 2009, 8:00 pm

Members of the SONOS Chamber Orchestra


James Nyoraku Schlefer, Shakuhachi

Min Xiao-Fen, pipa


Tan Dun - Ghost Opera for string quartet and pipa

James Cuddeford - Impermanence for string quartet and shakuhachi

James Nyoraku Schlefer - Quintet for string quartet and shakuhachi

Imagine the magic of a string quartet combined with the unexpected mystery of the Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi) and the Chinese lute (pipa); music that cherishes East and West in a world without boundaries.

Hear renowned composer Tan Dun’s haunting Ghost Opera for string quartet with pipa and water drums. Experience two completely different interpretations of contemporary shakuhachi – the traditional instrument of Zen meditation. Australian composer James Cuddeford’s Impermanence (dedicated to Kalrheinz Stockhausen) evokes the ephemeral nature of human existence, while New York composer James Schlefer’s Quintet reveals a zest for life.

Based in Washington Heights, SONOS Chamber Orchestra is a flexible and versatile group of artists devoted to the performance of traditional and innovative forms of classical music in the New York City area. In a city that is internationally recognized for its active arts scene, SONOS is committed to the performance of under-appreciated works as well as standard works of the classical repertoire. Conductor Erik E. Ochsner currently serves as Music Director and founder of SONOS Chamber Orchestra and rehearsal conductor for Tan Dun (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”; “Hero”). In November 2007, as part of the Tan Dun Composer Festival, Erik conducted members of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in two chamber music pieces of Tan Dun’s.

As a highly active and renowned interpreter of contemporary music, James Cuddeford has worked with and premiered the music of many of the most important composers of our time. James’ own compositions have been performed and broadcasted in Europe, Asia and Australia by groups such as the Nash Ensemble, Australian String Quartet, Psappha Ensemble and the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra James joined the Australian String Quartet in 1998 and is presently violinist with Grainger Quartet and Sydney Soloists. He has also appeared as Guest Concertmaster with several orchestras and has given master classes at many major institutions around the world. James has recorded for ABC Classics and Melba Recordings.

James Nyoraku Schlefer is a leading performer and teacher of shakuhachi in New York City. In addition to performing and lecturing on traditional Japanese shakuhachi music, Schlefer performs contemporary music for the instrument and is an active composer. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, the Metropolitan, Brooklyn and Philadelphia Museums, & the Joyce Theater. Schlefer has four solo recordings, Wind Heart (which was aboard the Space Station MIR for over one year) Solstice Spirit, Flare Up, and In The Moment, and his music was featured on NPR's All Things Considered. He received the Dai-Shi-Han or Grand Master's Certificate in 2001, and in 2007, he received a second shi-han license, this one from Kurahashi Yoshio and the Mujuan Dojo in Kyoto. In Japan he has also worked with Aoki Reibo, Yokoyama Katsuya, Yoshinobu Taniguchi, and Mitsuhashi Kifu. He holds a Master's degree in flute & musicology from Queens College and is on the CUNY faculty where he teaches courses in Classical Music, World Music and Jazz.

Internationally known for her virtuosity and fluid style, pipa soloist/singer/composer Min Xiao-Fen has received high acclaim for her classical, new music and jazz performances. She learned the pipa from her father, Min Ji-Qian, a professor and pipa master at Nanjing University. At age 17, she was chosen by the famed Nanjing Traditional Music Orchestra of China and spent over ten years as pipa soloist. She also won first prize at the Jiangsu National Pipa Competition in China and eventually become a first class artist in China. Since Ms. Min moved to the United States in 1992, she has been featured soloist with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.

The Place
Tenri Cultural Institute
43A West 13th Street, New York, NY
(212) 645-2800


25 general, 20 students/seniors