JAMES NYORAKU SCHLEFER, Artistic Director
MEG FAGAN, Producer

Press Releases

Press Contact: Meg Fagan, Producer • Kyo-Shin-An Arts • 718-832-5435 • meg@nyoraku.com

A 2016 and 2013 CMA/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award Winner, KYO-SHIN-AN ARTS is a contemporary music organization dedicated to the integration of the Japanese instruments koto, shakuhachi and shamisen into Western classical composition. Kyo-Shin-An Arts’ award-winning concert series at the Tenri Cultural Institute in Manhattan features a blend of KSA commissions with World, American and NY premieres, traditional and contemporary music for Japanese instruments and Western repertoire.

SAKURA TEA

Sunday, May 21, 2017, 4:00 PM

Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th Street, New York City

Tickets $25/15  at  brownpapertickets.com or 1-800-838-3006

DUO YUMENO: Yoko Reikano Kimura, koto and shamisen and Hikaru Tamaki, cello.
Sumie Kaneko, koto and shamisen; James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi

A program of traditional and contemporary duos and trios for Japanese instruments and cello featuring Misterioso by Daron Hagen, a new work by Kaito Nakahori, the premiere of James Nyoraku Schlefer’s trio We Shall (Surely) Meet Again; a traditional sankyoku by Yamase Shoin I - Miyako no Haru, and Thomas Osborne’s  shimmering trio Circles of Light.

PROGRAM

Daron Hagen: Misterioso – NY premiere
Kaito Nakahori: New Work – world premiere
Thomas Osborne: Circles of Light
James Nyoraku Schlefer: We Shall (Surely) Meet Again – a Kyo-Shin-An Commission world premiere
Yamase Shoin I:  Miyako no Haru (Spring in the Capitol)

YOKO REIKANO KIMURA, koto, is an enthusiastic supporter of contemporary music, a frequent collaborator with Western musicians and a performer of classical Japanese music in the Yamada school style. A resident of the US since 2010, Yoko is a founder of Duo YUMENO, with cellist Hikaru Tamaki, working to commission new music and expand the repertoire for these instruments. The Duo received a Chamber Music America Commissioning Award in 2014 and the Kyoto Aoyama Barock Saal Award in 2015. As a soloist, Yoko performed Kin'ichi Nakanoshima’s Shamisen Concerto at the National Olympic Memorial Center in 2004 and Daron Hagen’s Koto Concerto: Genji with the Euclid Quartet, Ciompi Quartet, Freimann Quartet and the Prairie Ensemble Orchestra in 2013. In 2014, she premiered Kaito Nakahori’s Japanese Footbridge for koto and chamber ensemble at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, and in 2015, James Nyoraku Schlefer’s Concertante at the Round Top Music Festival. Yoko performs frequently with Kyo-Shin-An Arts and has worked with Heiner Goebbels, the Wien Solisten Trio, and Kenny Endo, among others. University performances have included Harvard, Texas A&M, New England Conservatory, and City University of New York. In addition Yoko has toured in Poland, Switzerland, France, Lithuania, Korea, China, Israel, Qatar, Italy, Turkey and multiple countries in South America.  http://www.yamadaryu.com/reikano/

SUMIE KANEKO began studying the koto when she was at five, and the following year performed her first broadcast for NHK. In 1995, Sumie won the Takasaki International Competition for koto performance. She studied Japanese traditional music for koto and shamisen at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music then studied Jazz vocal at Berklee College of Music in 2006. Performance highlights include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, TED talk, Getty Center, Boston Ballet, Silk Road Project, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has also given workshops at Harvard and Princeton Universities, Wellesley College, Berklee College of Music and others. In 2014, her jazz fusion project, J-Trad  And More, was invited to the Washington, DC Jazz Festival, co-sponsored by the Embassy of Japan. Sumie was the shamisen player for Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning work "The Long Christmas Ride Home", and she has collaborated with many world instrumentalists including Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe, On Ensemble and Yumiko Tanaka, as well as painters, dancers and calligraphers. She has toured in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Jamaica (by Japan Foundation NY), Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and throughout the United States. http://www.sumiekanekomusic.com

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. He 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. Mr. Schlefer first encountered the shakuhachi in 1979, while working towards a career as a flute player and pursuing an advanced degree in musicology at CUNY (Queens College.) Today, he is considered by his colleagues to be one of most influential Western practitioners of this distinctive art form. As a composer, Mr. Schlefer 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. In December 2015, Mr. Schlefer was recognized by Musical America Worldwide for his work both as a composer and as Artistic Director of  Kyo-Shin-An Arts, as one of their “30 Top Professionals and Key Influencers”. www.nyoraku.com

HIKARU TAMAKI performs regularly in the US and Japan as a soloist and a member of Duo Yumeno with his wife, koto and shamisen master Yoko Reikano Kimura. He recently completed a 12-year tenure as principal cellist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic where he also performed regularly with the other principal string players in the Freimann String Quartet. Before joining the Philharmonic, Tamaki was an associate concertmaster of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and performed under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. Born in Kyoto, Japan in 1975, Hikaru 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 in Elmhurst, Illinois and the Bach Festival Young Artists Competition in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Hikaru is a member of the Japan-based Acadia Piano trio and during visits to Japan each summer, he gives solo, duo or trio recitals. In 2009, he began collaborations with traditional Japanese musicians in Tokyo and New York. Now based in NYC, Hikaru is also a member of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. www.duoyumeno.com

KYO-SHIN-AN ARTS: Kyo-Shin-An Arts' is a contemporary music organization with a mission to commission music and present concerts that bring Japanese instruments – specifically koto, shakuhachi and shamisen – to Western classical music. A 2016 and 2013 CMA/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award winner (small presenter, mixed repertory), Kyo-Shin-An Arts will be presenting its 7h chamber music season at the Tenri Cultural Institute.. KSA works in partnership with established ensembles and Western soloists, bridging two cultures by introducing composers and players alike to the range and virtuosity of Japanese instruments and the musicians who play them. The resulting music provides audiences with a unique introduction to traditional Japanese music within a familiar context and fabulous contemporary music.  Current ensemble partners include the Cassatt and Voxare String Quartets in NYC, the Arianna and Ciompi in MO and NC, Ensemble Epomeo, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of the Swan in the UK. Players of Japanese instruments include Christopher Yohmei Blaisdel, Masayo Ishigure, Yoko Reikano Kimura, Nami Kineie, Yumi Kurosawa, Riley Lee, John Kaizan Neptune, Yoko Nishi, Akihito Obama and James Nyoraku Schlefer.  Commissioned composers to date include Victoria Bond, Chad Cannon, Ciara Cornelius, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Daron Hagen, Matthew Harris, William Healy, Kento Iwasaki, Mari Kimura, Angel Lam, Daniel Levitan, Gilda Lyons, James Matheson, Paul Moravec, Mark Nowakowski, Somei Satoh, James Nyoraku Schlefer, Benjamin Verdery and Randall Woolf. www.kyoshinan.org

TENRI CULTURAL INSTITUTE AND KYO-SHIN-AN ARTS PRESENT: 

The excellent acoustics and intimate gallery setting of the Tenri Cultural Institute create a superb setting for listening to chamber music and offer audiences the rare opportunity to hear both traditional and contemporary music from two cultures in a setting similar to the music rooms of the courts and castles of both Europe and Japan. Over 300 years of chamber music tradition are presented throughout this series. Performances feature piano trios and string quartets from the great composers of Europe, music from Japan’s Edo period written for shamisen, koto and shakuhachi and contemporary music combining Western and Japanese instruments. www.artsat.tenri.org

2017-18 Season - upcoming programs:

November 19, 2017: “Exploding Chrysanthemums”. Piano Trio, Shakuhachi and Soprano. Kathleen Supové, piano; Jennifer Choi, violin; Wendy Law, cello, James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi; Dominique McCormick, soprano. World premiere KSA commissions by Aleksandra Vrebalov, Douglas J. Cuomo and Ciara Cornelius.

Winter/Spring 2018: Featuring  performances with Sybarite 5, Voxare String Quartet, Taka Kigawa, Yoko Reikano Kimura, and James Nyoraku Schlefer.

© 2016 Kyo-Shin-An Arts