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Music From Japan Festival 2019

For Festival 2019, the Fourth Artist Residency, Music From Japan Invites Musicologist Miyuki Shiraishi and Composer Yumi Saiki to New York City for a Series of Concerts and Educational Events (March 2-3)

“Music From Japan has long been a valuable contributor to New York concert life.”
-New York Times

Naoyuki Miura, Artistic Director of Music From Japan, is pleased to announce the 44th Season. For its Festival 2019, MFJ will present the fourth Artist Residency to facilitate dialogue between composers, critics and music scholars from the US and Japan. The Artist Residence Program will also include two concerts of Japanese music: one curated by musicologist Miyuki Shiraishi and one featuring the works of Yumi Saiki at Victor Borge Hall, Scandinavia House.

On Saturday, March 2nd at 7:30pm, Japanese Composers Influenced by John Cage, curated by Miyuki Shiraishi, will feature works by six composers. The concert will include two world premieres, one of which was commissioned by Music From Japan. Before the concert, Professor Shiraishi, a specialist in the music of John Cage, will lecture on the profound influence Cage has had on Japanese contemporary music and how his presence is still felt today, especially for the composers on the program. On Sunday, March 3rd at 5:30pm, The Works of Yumi Saiki will present a cross-section of the composer’s work, including the world premiere of her new piece commissioned by MFJ. Saiki, whom MFJ has commissioned before, recently received accolades for the premiere of a new orchestral work commissioned and presented by Suntory Concert Hall in Tokyo. Both concerts will be followed by panel discussions and Q&A sessions with the commissioned composers, Miyuki Shiraishi, and New York-based composers, journalists and scholars. MFJ has invited some of New York’s most renowned musicians to perform this exciting new music. They include Fred Sherry (conductor & cello), Vicky Chow (piano), Ryan Muncy (alto sax), Oren Fader (guitar and el. guitar), Elizabeth Brown (flute), Marianne Gythfeldt (clarinet & bass clarinet), Aaron Wunsch (piano), and the Momenta Quartet. Fred Sherry, a highly accomplished conductor as well as an esteemed cellist, will take the baton for one of Saiki’s pieces.

“Thus while the 40-year mission of Music From Japan has remained focused on music, its role in the wake of the Fukushima disaster reveals a broader goal: to help heal the planet, above all through the power of the arts to engender cross-cultural sympathy and awareness.”
-John Rockwell

Tickets are $20 ($25 at the door) and are available at: www.musicfromjapan.org


Music From Japan Festival 2019
Victor Borge Hall
Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue, New York, NY (37-38 Streets)
Sat. March 2 7:00pm lecture “John Cage in Japan: Shock and Afterwards” by Miyuki Shiraishi
7:30pm concert followed by open forum and reception
Japanese Composers influenced by John Cage curated by Professor Shiraishi
Jo Kondo Dithyramb (1996) for flute, guitar
Yoichi Sugiyama Smoking Prohibited, a Bay Street Ballade II, New York version (2019) for alto sax**
Tomomi Adachi Why you scratch me, not slap? (2011) for electric guitar *
Takahiro Kuroda Let\'s also be careful about small things (2018) for string quartet **
MFJ commission
Toshi Ichiyanagi Time Sequence (1976) for piano
Akiko Yamane Dots Collection No. 03 for violin and piano + a vibrating sphere in a room no. 01 (2009) for violin *
Sun. March 3 5:30pm concert followed by open forum
Works of Yumi Saiki
Turn My Mourning into Dancing (2013) for flute, clarinet, cello *
JOY (2014) piano solo *
Entomophonie II (2003) for flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano and conductor
Deux Sillages II (2017) violin-solo and string trio (violin, viola, cello) *
Pneuma III/MFJ commission (2019) for flute, cello, piano **
                        *American premiere
** World premiere

Music From Japan’s 44th season is made possible in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), and the Japan Foundation.


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