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.  


Taka Kigawa, piano - Yoko Reikano Kimura, shamisen - James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi

Sunday, May 20, 2018, 4:00 PM

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

Tickets in advance $25/15 brownpapertickets.com

Two world premieres! Torio, a Kyo-Shin-An Arts commission from Douglas J. Cuomo for piano, shamisen and shakuhachi and Moon, Mountain, Stream by John King for solo shakuhachi.

Plus music by Mari Kimura, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Katsutoshi Nagasawa and Yumi Hara Cawkwell.


Torio by Douglas J. Cuomo (shakuhachi, shamisen, piano), World Premiere, a Kyo-Shin-An Arts commission

Moon, Mountain, Stream by John King (shakuhachi) World Premiere

Four Cups of Green Tea by Mari Kimura (shakuhachi and piano) a Kyo-Shin-An Arts commission

Mirage by Toshi Ichiyanagi (shakuhachi and piano)

Shamisen Concerto by Katsutoshi Nagasawa(shamisen and piano)

Nota Bene by Yumi Hara Cawkwell (shakuhachi and piano)

Critically acclaimed pianist TAKA KIGAWA has performed extensively as a recitalist and soloist in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Cleveland, Paris, Milan and Barcelona, with appearances in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kosciuszko Foundation, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Cité de la Musique, and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Plau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Kigawa grew up in Nagano, Japan, where he began piano studies at the age of three, winning his first competition at the age of seven and ultimately garnering outstanding international recognition as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber music artist after winning First Prize in the prestigious 1990 Japan Music Foundation Piano Competition in Tokyo and the Diploma Prize at the 1998 Concurs Internacional Maria Canals De Barcelona in Spain. His NYC recital in 2010 was chosen as one of the best concerts of the year by The New York Times. Following this accolade, his August 2011, NYC recital was selected as one of the most notable concerts of the 2011-2012 season by Musical America. In addition to his active NY schedule, Kigawa frequently tours in his native Japan, appearing in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagano and Kyoto, both as a recitalist and a soloist with orchestra and in chamber music groups. www.takakigawa.com

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.  www.yokoreikanokimura.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

Douglas J. Cuomo has composed highly acclaimed and original music for concert and theatrical stages, television, and ?lm. His music, with in?uences from jazz, world music, classical, and popular sources, is as personal, distinctive, and recognizable as it is wide-ranging. His compositions range from well-known television themes — for Sex and the City and Now with Bill Moyers, among others — to evening-length works for theater, including the operas Doubt and Arjuna's Dilemma. His expressive musical language, with its arresting juxtapositions of sound and style, is a natural outgrowth of his eclectic background and training. He became a professional guitarist while still in his teens, alternating years of college – studying jazz, world music and ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut – with years on the road playing in jazz, pop and funk bands. His most recent cross-cultural ensemble is “Turquoise Lake”, which he is co-leading with Afghan-born singer Humayun Khan.  Mr. Cuomo has received numerous grants and awards including: OPERA America Opera Fund Grant; two National Endowment of the Arts awards for Artistic Excellence in the Creation and Development of New Work; two NYSCA commissioning grants; American Music Center's Composer Assistance grant; NYSCA recording grant; Argosy Foundation Grant; Mary Flagler Carey Charitable Trust for development, and three BMI Television Music Awards. Residencies include the MacDowell Colony, The Hermitage Foundation, and Blue Mountain Artist Colony. www.douglasjcuomo.com

JOHN KING, composer, guitarist and violist, has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet; the Belgrade Philharmonic (co-commission with Aleksandra Vrebalov), Ethel; the Albany Symphony/“Dogs of Desire”, Bang On A Can All-Stars; Mannheim Ballet; New York City Ballet/Diamond Project, Stuttgart Ballet, Ballets de Monte Carlo; as well as the Merce Cunningham Dance Co. He has also been commissioned repeatedly by Brooklyn Youth Chorus and collaborated with them on their “Black Mountain Songs” project, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. King has written 7 operas: ping and WHAT IS THE WORD, with texts by Samuel Beckett; impropera, which used randomly selected text msg’s from the singers’ cell phones; SapphOpera, a chamber opera with text-fragments by Sappho translated by Anne Carson; herzstück/heartpiece, based on the text of Heiner Müller; la belle captive based on texts by Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Dice Thrown, based on the Stéphane Mallarmé poem. He has 3 recent CD releases of music for string quartet; 10 Mysteries and AllSteel (Tzadik); and Ethel (Cantaloupe). King was Music Curator at The Kitchen from 1999-2003 and from 2002-2011 was a co-director of the Music Committee at MCDC. He received the 2014 Award for Sound/Music from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and is also the recipient of the 2009 Alpert Award in the Arts for Music. He has been a Rockefeller Foundation/Bellagio Center Fellow and a resident artist at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy. www.johnkingmusic.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, 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/



© 2018 Kyo-Shin-An Arts