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, presented in collaboration with Arts at 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.  


Sunday, April 15, 2018, 4:00 PM

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

Tickets in advance $25/15 brownpapertickets.com


Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violins; Angela Pickett, viola; Laura Metcalf, cello; Louis Levitt, bass

with James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi

Cherry Blossoms have never been so much fun! This concert features the amazing string quintet Sybarite5 and James Nyoraku Schlefer performing Paul Moravec's "Shakuhachi Concerto" and the premiere of "The Troglodyte", a new sextet by Schlefer. The program will also feature "The Voice of Water" a new string quintet by Victoria Bond and surprise repertoire from Sybarite5 - they announce their programs from the stage.

SYBARITE5: Dubbed the "Millennial Kronos," SYBARITE5’s eclectic repertoire from Bowie to Radiohead and Akiho to Assad combined with its commanding performance style is turning heads throughout the music world. The quintet’s debut album, Disturb the Silence, quickly reached the top ten on the Billboard charts. The group’s follow-up album, Everything in its Right Place, was released at Carnegie Hall to critical acclaim. SYBARITE5 recently completed its latest album, Outliers, featuring all new works from American composers. With their dynamic view on 21st-century entrepreneurial musicianship, the group has conducted their Evolution of an Entrepreneur residencies and workshops at major institutions and conservatories including the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory. SYBARITE5 was the ensemble for the 2016 American Composers Forum National Competition at (le) poisson rouge and maintains a residency at the cell in New York City. At the cell, SYBARITE5 is experimenting with new sounds and programming innovative with technology such as Jakub Ciupinski’s works for SYBARITE5 + Hacked Theremins, and new global collaborations as a result of their work at the Silkroad Global Musician Workshop. Highlights of recent seasons have included performances in 43 states and counting, from the Library of Congress and St. Paul’s Schubert Club to Anchorage Concert Association and Sun Valley Center for the Arts, as well as concerts in their home of New York City at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, the Apple Store and the 92nd Street Y. In addition to their own groundbreaking, portable music festival, Forward Festival, SYBARITE5 has appeared at Ravinia, Caramoor Center for the Arts, Wolf Trap Opera, Grand Teton Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Music in the Mountains, Chautauqua Music Festival, Green Lake Music Festival, Look and Listen Festival and many others. International appearances include Canada’s Tuckamore Music Festival, the New Docta International Music Festival in Cordoba, Argentina, and the Osaka Festa in Osaka, Japan. www.sybarite5.org

Sybarite5 is represented worldwide by Frank Salomon Associates Inc. www.franksalomon.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. Schlefer first encountered the shakuhachi in 1979, while working towards a career as a flute player and pursuing an advanced degree in musicology. Today he is considered by his colleagues to be one of most influential Western practitioners of this distinctive art form. Known to his students as Nyoraku sensei, Schlefer established his own dojo in NYC in 1996. He also teaches shakuhachi at Columbia University, a broad spectrum of Western and World music courses at New York City College of Technology (CUNY), and performs and lectures at colleges and universities throughout the United States. As a composer, Schlefer has written multiple chamber and orchestral works combining Japanese and Western instruments as well as numerous pieces solely for traditional Japanese instruments. Schlefer is the Artistic Director of Kyo-Shin-An Arts and in December 2015, he was recognized by Musical America Worldwide as one of their “30 Top Professionals and Key Influencers” for his work both as a composer and Artistic Director of Kyo-Shin-An Arts. www.nyoraku.com

VICTORIA BOND’S works for orchestra, chamber ensemble and opera have been lauded by the New York Times as "powerful, stylistically varied and technically demanding." In addition to Soul of a Nation, the four presidential portraits on the Albany label, highlights of Ms. Bond’s catalogue include the operas Mrs. President, Clara and The Miracle of Light; ballets Equinox, and Other Selves; orchestral works Thinking like a Mountain, Bridges and Urban Bird; and chamber works Dreams of Flying, Frescoes and Ash and Instruments of Revelation, among many others. Her compositions have been performed by the New York City Opera, Shanghai, Dallas and Houston Symphonies, members of the Chicago Symphony and New York Philharmonic, American Ballet Theater and the Cassatt and Audubon Quartets. She has served as principal guest conductor of Chamber Opera Chicago since 2005. Prior positions include Assistant Conductor of Pittsburgh Symphony and New York City Opera and Music Director of the Roanoke Symphony and Opera, Bel Canto Opera and Harrisburg Opera. Ms. Bond has guest conducted throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. She is the first woman awarded a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the Juilliard School. Ms. Bond is Artistic Director of Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival in New York, which she founded in 1998, is a frequent lecturer at the Metropolitan Opera and has lectured for the New York Philharmonic. www.victoriabond.com


PAUL MORAVEC, recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has composed numerous orchestral, chamber, lyric, choral and operatic works. Frequently commissioned by notable ensembles and major music institutions, Mr. Moravec's next premiere is Sanctuary Road, an oratorio about the Underground Railroad for Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall in May, 2018. His most recent opera is The Shining, to a libretto by Mark Campbell based on the Stephen King novel, which premiered at Minnesota Opera in May, 2016. Other recent premieres include The Overlook Hotel Suite for American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Nocturne for Orchestra of the Swan in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, and Winter Songs for the Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society in Cambridge. Recent recordings include Amorisms on Delos/Naxos and Violin Concerto on Naxos American Classics. A graduate of Harvard and Columbia universities, he holds the distinguished rank of University Professor at Adelphi University, and recently served as Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton as well as Composer-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome. His website is www.paulmoravec.com and his works are published by www.subitomusic.com

SPRING 2018 - upcoming programs:
Rose Music

Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Celebrate the season with the melodic and percussive beauty of music for piano and Japanese instruments. Featuring duos by Mari Kimura, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Katsutoshi Nagasawa and Yumi Hara Cawkwell, plus a Kyo-Shin-An Arts commission from Douglas J. Cuomo for piano, shamisen and shakuhachi. Taka Kigawa, piano ? Yoko Reikano Kimura, shamisen and koto ? James Nyoraku Schefer, shakuhachi

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, Sybarite5, 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, Douglas j Cuomo, 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, Yoko Sato, Somei Satoh, James Nyoraku Schlefer, Benjamin Verdery, Aleksandra Vrebalov 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. http://artsat.tenri.org/

© 2016 Kyo-Shin-An Arts