"Weaving Japanese Sounds" - Music of Modern Japan
Japanese Contemporary Music Concert Series
June 3 and June 10, 2005 - 7:30 PM each evening
Pre-concert lecture at 7 PM
at the Yamaha concert salon at 689 5th Avenue (54th St.), New York, NY
with the support of Yamaha Artist Services and Jeffrey James Arts Consulting
Both programs show a wide spectrum of Japanese musical culture in the 21st Century. For instance, light hearted music influenced by popular culture, music that represents the rapid economical growth and industrialization of the 60's and 70's, music that is deeply rooted in Japanese folk culture, music infused with the Japanese sense of tranquility and timing (typified by Noh), and finally, music that reveals a great confluence of other cultures in this rapidly shrinking world of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Not only do these programs reveal various musical trends, but they also show a wide range in composers' generations and gender. Some of the composers whose works will be represented are already very well established statesmen of music, while others are emerging young composers. Special attention was given to introduce young composers who are creating their own sounds in New York, the world capital of culture.
The concert on June 3 will feature pianists Chie Sato Roden and Sachiko Kato in various solo and piano duo works.
Rain, Calling Autumn (piano solo) (1994) ... Akemi Naito (b. 1956)
Cosmos Haptic II - Transfiguration (piano solo) (1986) ... Joji Yuasa (b.1929)
Landscape (1981) ... Toshiya Sukegawa (b.1930)
"Hi No Chi" (The Land of Sorrow) 1991 ... Yoichi Togawa (b.1959)
Music to the Kabuki Play "Yaoya Oshichi" ... Kohei Fujita (b.1945)
Scenes II (piano duo) ... Shigenobu Nakamura (b. 1950)
Randombird Variations (piano duo)(1985) ... Takashi Yoshimatsu (b. 1953)
Click here for composer biographies.
The concert on June 10 will feature musicians of the highest caliber such as Yosuke Kawasaki, violin, Tanya Dusevik Witek, flute, Katherine Cherbas, cello, Tamara Hardesty, soprano, Makoto Nakura, marimba, and Sachiko Kato, piano.
Japanese Folk Songs (cello and piano)(1972) ... Michio Mamiya (b. 1929)
Strata II (flute solo)(1988) ... Shin-ichiro Ikebe (b. 1943)
Duo (violin and cello)(1998) ... Toshio Hosokawa (b.1955)
Paganini Personal (marimba and piano)(1982) ... Toshi Ichiyanagi (b.1933)
Songs for soprano and piano ... Junko Mori
Piano Trio (commissioned & world premier)(2005) ... Moto Osada
Courtyard of Apsaras (flute, violin, and piano)(1971) ... Teizo Matsumura (b.1929)
Click here for composer biographies.
About the Performers
Katherine Cherbas, cello - Cellist Katherine Cherbas has performed solo and chamber music recitals throughout the U.S. and has received particular acclaim for her performances of new music. Ms. Cherbas, whose sound has been described as "fresh and full" (Strings), has performed at all of New York's major halls, and has been heard on WNYC and BBC3 radio and the NBC, PBS, and Bravo television networks. In addition to the standard cello repertoire, Ms. Cherbas enjoys playing contemporary music. She has worked with countless living composers and been involved in performances of dozens of world premieres. She is the cellist of the Milton Quartet, the only group in the world which currently performs Milton Babbitt's String Quartet No. 6. The ensemble's world premiere recording of the work is available on Tzadik Records. Ms. Cherbas received a B.A. from Columbia University and the Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School.
Tamara Hardesty, soprano - Tamara Hardesty has performed across the country in opera, oratorio and recital to critical acclaim. James Oestreich of The New York Times wrote: "Hardesty was a particular joy, singing with a clear, agile soprano and spinning out the coloratura with ease." Andrew Porter of The New Yorker said: "Hardesty gave pleasures in many gentle, fluent and well-shaped passages." She has sung with such opera companies as Connecticut Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera's Merola program and Western Opera Theater Tours, Whitewater Opera in Indiana, Sorg Opera in Ohio, Lake George Opera in New York, Sarasota Opera in Florida, and L'Opera Francais de New York, Dicapo Opera, and Bronx Opera in New York City. Ms. Hardesty recently made her Kennedy Center debut with the Washington Chorus. She has sung with the Westchester Oratorio Society in New York, the St. Joseph Symphony in Missouri, the Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra and the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra in Iowa, and the Haddonfield Symphony Orchestra in New Jersey. She has given lieder recitals in New York City at Steinway Hall, Klavierhaus, St. Peter's Church, St. Paul's Chapel, and the Liederkranz Foundation, and in Boston at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She has performed in charity events to benefit victims of the September 11th 2001 tragedy. Ms. Hardesty grew up in West Virginia and earned her Bachelor's Degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York City and her Master's Degree from Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Yosuke Kawasaki, violin - New York-based violinist Yosuke Kawasaki's versatile musicianship allows him to pursue a wide-ranging career of solo, chamber music, and orchestral engagements. He currently serves as a member of the Mito Chamber Orchestra and Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan and is the former concertmaster of the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra (1999 - 2001). In addition to solo appearances with all three orchestras, Mr. Kawasaki has been guest soloist with the Aspen Chamber Symphony, International Sejong Soloists, Kyushu Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra of Lima. Mr. Kawasaki is a founding member of the D'Amici String Quartet along with world-renowned musicians Federico Agostini, James Creitz, and Sadao Harada. Mr. Kawasaki maintains an active duo concert schedule as well with Russian-born pianist Vadim Serebryany, where they made their Australian debut collaborating with the cutting edge Mark Morris Dance Group. The duo is best known for their interpretation of Beethoven's Complete Piano and Violin Sonatas and has performed this program in the United States and Canada. Mr. Kawasaki is an avid chamber musician making his Suntory Hall debut in Japan with the Festival Soloists Kyoko Takezawa, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Yasushi Toyoshima. Not bound by conventional chamber music settings, he performs throughout the United States in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group as their resident violinist. In New York, Mr. Kawasaki is a member of the Metropolitan Museum Artists broadcasting live programs on WQXR-FM. He is also a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi and makes regular appearances at the prestigious Barge Music. Mr. Kawasaki began his violin studies at the age of six with his father Masao Kawasaki and continued with Setsu Goto. At the age of ten he was accepted into The Juilliard School Pre-College Division where he won the school-wide concerto competition. He then continued his education and graduated from The Juilliard School in 1998 under the tutorship of Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Felix Galimir and Joel Smirnoff.
Makoto Nakura, marimba - Marimbist Makoto Nakura is a musician whose artistry and astonishing virtuosity has been mesmerizing audiences more than a decade. He creates innovative programs of new music as well as traditional classical repertoire that show the versatility and expressive range of the marimba and which is always a revelation to the listener. In 1994, Makoto came from his native Japan to become the first marimbist to win a place on the prestigious Young Concert Artists roster. He has played throughout the U.S. with orchestras such as the New York Chamber Symphony, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the California Symphony and, as a recital soloist, his long list of appearances includes Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, New York's 92nd Street Y, Washington's Kennedy Center, Seoul's Hoam Art Hall and Tokyo's Suntory Hall. Mr. Nakura has established himself as a dedicated champion of the music of our time, and many leading young composers, such as Kevin Puts, Kenji Bunch, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Pierre Jalbert, David Schober and Jason Eckardt have written pieces for him. Born in Kobe, Japan, Mr. Nakura began to play the marimba at the age of eight. He earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Musashino College in Tokyo and continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. A television portrait of Mr. Nakura was shown nationally on CBS Sunday Morning. His recitals have been widely televised by KBS (Korea) and NHK (Japan), as well as many radio stations. His recent honors include a National Arts Festival New Artist Award from the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs and the BMI/Carlos Surinach Fund Marimba Commission. He was named an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in London. His two CDs, released on Kleos Classics and Japan's ALM Records, are devoted to works written especially for him.
Tanya Dusevic Witek, flute - Tanya Dusevic Witek was recently chosen as a "Face of the Future" by the Canadian magazine Maclean's, in a special millenium issue. Ms. Witek has been the recipient of awards such as The National Arts Club's Tilden Prize (1996, Jean-Pierre Rampal, jury chairman), a Fulbright Grant (1995), 2nd prize in the National Flute Association's Young Artists' Competition (1994), a Sony ES Award for Excellence (1994) and the Juilliard Concerto Competition (1993). Ms. Witek was the resident flutist at the renowned Marlboro Music Festival in 1996 and 1997 and has also appeared as soloist and chamber musician at The Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, The Banff Festival and The Sarasota Music Festival. She has performed throughout Canada, the United States, Taiwan, Japan, Poland, France, Australia and England, and in New York she has made solo appearances at venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Weill Recital Hall. Ms. Witek has appeared as concerto soloist with groups such as the Juilliard Orchestra, New York Symphonic Ensemble, Seacliff Chamber Players, the Calgary Philharmonic, and the Banff Festival Strings. She has toured Japan seven times with New York Symphonic Ensemble, The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and The Juilliard Orchestra. Ms. Witek has toured the U.S. with the acclaimed "Musicians from Marlboro" ensemble and is heard on a new compact disc celebrating the 50th anniversary of the festival. Other recordings include a compact disc of Ornette Coleman's chamber works, as well as various solo and chamber performances for EMI (Canada), EMI (Japan) and CRI. Ms. Witek's performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio in Canada, Radio France, NHK Radio and Television in Japan, as well as WNPR and WNCN in New York. Ms. Witek was educated at The University of Calgary (Bachelor of Music), The Banff Center and The Juilliard School (Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts). Her main teachers and coaches have included Philippa Fullerton, Carol Wincenc and Samuel Baron.
Chie Sato Roden, piano - Chie Sato Roden began her formal piano study in Yokosuka, Japan, and continued in the United States at Rutgers University, where she studied under Samuel Dilworth-Leslie and earned an MFA in performance in 1981. Her other teachers include Suzue Hashimoto, Aiko Noro, and Harold Zabrack. For her enthusiastically reviewed Carnegie Recital Hall debut in September of 1981, NY Times critic Bernard Holland wrote that "Miss Roden played as if she cherished every note of this music." Since then, she has given numerous concerts in the US, UK, Canada and various cities in Japan, featuring contemporary compositions from both Japanese and American composers. During this time, she introduced more than 40 Japanese pieces (most of them premiers) to American and European audiences. Illustrative of this effort was her recital, "An Afternoon of Japanese and American Piano Music," at Weill Recital Hall in October of 1993, for which Allan Kozinn of the NY Times described Roden as "an energetic, compelling advocate for her trans- Pacific repertory." Selections for this recital were also performed for the "Around New York" show at WNYC; and the entire program was repeated in the fall of l994 at Tokyo's Bario Hall. In the summer of l998, Ms. Roden was selected as a winner with special distinction for the performance of contemporary music by the IBLA International Piano Competition in Ragusa, Italy. Over the past two years she has performed works of contemporary Japanese and American composers in New York City (Weill Recital Hall and Casa Italiana), the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In addition to her performances, she has recorded two compact discs: Charles Ives' "Concord Sonata" (l988) and "Selected Piano Works by Contemporary Japanese Composers" (l989) for ALM Records in Japan.
Sachiko Kato, piano/ founder - Versatile pianist Sachiko Kato has enchanted audiences all over the United States with her beautiful sonorous sound in a wide range of repertoire. A winner of the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition and the Pro-Piano Recital Series Audition, Ms. Kato made her Carnegie Weill Hall recital debut in 1994. Since then, she has been performing extensively throughout the United States and Japan. She has been heard at the Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall and Performing Arts Library, Steinway Hall in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum, Norris Theater of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, and Old First Church and Crocker Art Museum in San Francisco, LiveArts in Massachusetts, among others. Her pianism was also feature-broadcast by the classical station, KMZT FM. In addition to her career as solo performer, Ms. Kato has also been active in chamber music. She has recently appeared in Storm King Music Festival as well as Arcady Music Festival for which her piano trio gave four concerts throughout Maine last summer. A native of Osaka, Japan, Ms. Kato grew up in Los Angeles, California where she started to gain recognition as a promising artist at an early age. She made a debut performance with the Brentwood Symphony Orchestra at age 15. After receiving her Bachelor of Music from California State University Northridge, she received a scholarship to enter The Juilliard School for her Master of Music degree. Among her teachers are world-renowned pianists Russell Sherman and Jerome Lowenthal.