Music From Japan



Ned Rothenberg; Photo by Lois Ellison

Ned Rothenberg
Photo by Lois Ellison

Ned Rothenberg

Ned Rothenberg is a New York City based internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and composer who performs on saxophones, clarinets, flute, and shakuhachi. As a composer, Rothenberg has written for unprecedented groups of instruments. His album Ghost Stories, released in 2000 on Tzadik Records, features compositions for cello, shakuhachi, percussion, pipa, clarinet, alto saxophone, and shakuhachi. He followed up Ghost Stories with another album of stunning chamber music—Quintet For Clarinet and Strings—this time written for the Mivos Quartet with Rothenberg performing as a soloist on clarinet. He has received grants and commissions from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Arts Council, Mary Flagler Cary Trust, Lila Wallace Foundation, Chamber Music America, Asian Cultural Council, Roulette, Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, Japan Society and ASCAP. As a performer he has appeared as a soloist in hundreds of concerts throughout North and South America, Europe, and Japan. His music varies widely in its sonic, emotive, and stylistic characteristics. Through his use of multiphonics, overtone control, and circular breathing, he has extended the use of his instruments from the monophonic to the polyphonic in both solo and ensemble contexts. He has worked with Evan Parker, Katsuya Yokoyama, John Zorn, Heiner Goebbels, Steve Nieve, Marc Ribot, Sainkho, Marisa Monte, So La Liu, and Fusanosuke Kondo.

Yoichi Sugiyama

Yoichi Sugiyama


Yoichi Sugiyama

Yoichi Sugiyama (b. 1969) is a composer and conductor active in Europe and Japan. He studied composition with Franco Donatoni, Sandro Gorli, and Akira Miyoshi and orchestral conducting with Emilio Pomarico and Morihiro Okabe. As a composer, Sugiyama has been featured internationally at festivals including Wien Modern, the Festival d’Automne, Milano Musica, Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Biennale di Venezia, and the Tiroler-Festspiel Erl. Yoichi Sugiyama came to prominence as a conductor after conducting Luigi Nono’s opera “Prometeo” with Ensemble Modern Orchestra in 2000. Since then, he has collaborated with ensembles across Europe and Japan including Klangforum Wien, Collegium Novum, Tokyo Sinfonietta, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and Nieuw Ensemble. He is to receive 13th Keizo Saji Prize in 2014.

Michio Kitazume

Michio Kitazume

Michio Kitazume

Michio Kitazume is a Tokyo-based composer who has been recognized internationally for his works ranging a wide variety of ensembles. He studied composition, piano, and conducting at the Tokyo University of the Arts before joining the collaborative group of composers and performers known as “Ensemble Vent d’Orient” in 1977. Notably, his piece “Ei-Sho” won both the Otaka Prize and the Grand-Prix of IRC-UNESCO in 1994 and 1995, respectively. In 2001 he received the Otaka Prize again for his piece “Scenes of the Earth.” Since 2008, Kitazume’s interest in wind orchestra has led him annually to produce “Band Restoration,” a project that has eight school brass bands premiere 8 new pieces for wind ensemble by contemporary composers. Sonically, his works often originate from his dialogic relationship with nature. Michio Kitazume is affiliate professor of Tokyo College of Music and professor emeritus of Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music.



Mayumi Miyata

Mayumi Miyata

Mayumi Miyata, sho

Mayumi Miyata is distinguished as one of the first artists to bring the traditional Japanese instrument the sho to worldwide recognition. Ms. Miyata’s artistry has helped expand awareness of the sho both in Japan and overseas where she has been credited with making it widely recognized not only as a traditional Gagaku instrument but also one that has a place in contemporary music.

Since her Tokyo recital debut in 1983 Ms. Miyata has appeared as a soloist all over Europe and the US. Many of the world’s leading modern composers, including Toru Takemitsu, Toshio Hosokawa, Helmut Lachenmann, Paul Méfano, Klaus Huber, Pierre-Yves Artaud, Zsigmond Szathmáry, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Maki Ishii, and Joji Yuasa, have written for Mayumi Miyata. She also worked very closely with John Cage, premiering all of his Two3 for sho and conch in Italy in 1992.

Her recent orchestral engagements included the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie both with Kazushi Ono, NHK Symphony Orchestra with Charles Dutoit for their European tour, New York Philharmonic with André Previn, Tanglewood Festival Orchestra with Seiji Ozawa, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra with Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bamberger Symphoniker with Jonathan Nott, Orchestre National de Lyon with Jun Maerkl, and Munich Chamber Orchestra with Alexander Liebreich.

Highlights of Ms. Miyata’s career include such diverse engagements as her performance of the Japanese National Anthem at the Opening Ceremony of the Nagano Winter Olympic Games and her work with Björk on the soundtrack to Matthew Barney’s 2005 film, Drawing Restraint 9, in which she appeared playing her instrument.

Wu Man; Photo by Stephen Kahn

Wu Man
Photo by Stephen Kahn



Wu Man, pipa

Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and as a leading ambassador of Chinese music, US-based, Chinese-born musician Wu Man has carved out a career creating and fostering projects that give this ancient instrument a new role in today’s music world, not only introducing the instrument to new audiences, but commissioning and premiering over a hundred new works to grow the core repertoire. A Grammy Award-nominated artist, her adventurous musical spirit has also led to her becoming a respected expert on the history and preservation of Chinese musical traditions.

Wu Man has worked with some of the most distinguished musicians and conductors performing today, such as Yuri Bashmet, Christoph Eschenbach, Cho-liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, David Robertson and Esa-Pekka Salonen. She is a principal member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project and has also performed and recorded with the Kronos Quartet. The list of works she has interpreted includes pieces by today’s most prominent composers such as Tan Dun, Philip Glass, the late Lou Harrison, Terry Riley, Bright Sheng, and Chen Yi. Her most recent CD, to be released in August 2014, showcases the music of folk traditions from around the world with Grammy-winning collaborators Daniel Ho (guitar/ukulele) and Luis Conte (percussion).

Her new recital program, “Journey of Chinese Pipa”—which she will perform in London, Sydney, and Toronto—explores the history of pipa repertoire, ranging from traditional folksongs to original compositions by Wu Man herself.

Jin Hi Kim

Jin Hi Kim
Photo by Patricia Santos



Jin Hi Kim, komungo

Jin Hi Kim is an internationally acclaimed composer and komungo virtuoso, known for introducing the ancient indigenous instrument into contemporary classical music. Kim has been active as a soloist both in her own compositions and in the compositions of collaborators for thirty years. The list of venues at which she has performed includes Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art, Royal Festival Hall, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt. She has performed in festivals, museums, and universities throughout the USA, Europe, Canada, South America, Russia, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia.

As a composer, Kim has been commissioned by Kronos Quartet, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, American Composers Orchestra, the Boston Modern Music Project, the New Haven Symphony, the Xenakis ensemble, and Zeitgiest. She is a Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition and was Music Alive Composer in Residence with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra from 2009 to 2011.
Jin Hi Kim has also been active as an improviser and has performed with Derek Bailey, Oliver Lake, William Parker, Evan Parker, Elliott Sharp, Bill Frisell, Reggie Workman, and Gerry Hemingway.

Fred Sherry 
Photo by Ken Howard



Fred Sherry, cello

A pioneer and a visionary in the music world, Fred Sherry has introduced audiences on five continents and all 50 United States to the music of our time through his close association with today’s composers. Carter, Davidovsky, Mackey, Rakowski, Satoh, Wuorinen and Zorn have written concertos for him, and he has premiered solo and chamber works dedicated to him by Babbitt, Bermel, Foss, Knussen, Lieberson and Takemitsu, among others. Sherry was a founding member of Tashi and Speculum Musicae; he has been a member of the Group for Contemporary Music, of Berio’s Juilliard Ensemble and of the Galimir String Quartet; and he was a close collaborator with jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea. He has been an active performer with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since the 1970s and was its Artistic Director from 1988 to 1992. Sherry has been a soloist and “sideman” on hundreds of commercial and esoteric recordings. The Fred Sherry String Quartet recordings of the Schoenberg String Quartet Concerto and the String Quartets Nos. 3 and 4 were both nominated for a Grammy. Sherry is a member of the cello faculty of the Juilliard School, the Mannes College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. His book, 25 Bach Duets from the Cantatas, was published by Boosey & Hawkes in 2011. It will be followed by the long-awaited treatise on contemporary string techniques.

Richard Stoltzman
Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzuco



Richard Stoltzman, clarinet

Richard Stoltzman’s virtuosity, musicianship and sheer personal magnetism have made him one of today’s most sought-after concert artists. As soloist with over a hundred orchestras, a captivating recitalist, an innovative jazz artist, and a prolific recording artist, this two-time Grammy Award winner has defied categorization, dazzling critics and audiences alike throughout many musical genres. Stoltzman’s unique way with the clarinet has earned him an international reputation as he has opened up possibilities for the instrument that no one could have predicted. He gave the first clarinet recitals at both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and became the first wind player to receive the Avery Fisher Prize. Aside from numerous musical collaborations, a recent highlight was a world premiere performance at Lincoln Center with members of New York City Ballet in a pas de deux choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. He has performed or recorded with such jazz and pop greats as Gary Burton, the Canadian Brass, Chick Corea, Judy Collins, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Keith Jarrett, the King’s Singers, Mike Manieri, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Mel Tormé, Spyro Gyra founder Jeremy Wall and Kazumi Watanabe. His commitment to new music has resulted in numerous premieres, including acclaimed clarinet works written for him by Steve Reich, Toru Takemitsu, Stephen Hartke, Einojuhani Rautavaara and Yehudi Wyner. As a ten-year participant in the Marlboro Music Festival, Stoltzman gained extensive chamber music experience, and subsequently became a founding member of the noted ensemble TASHI, which made its debut in 1973.
Richard Stoltzman’s discography numbers well over seventy recordings. His most recent release is “Resolve” released on the PARMA label in 2014 featuring works of Hindemith. He has won Grammy® Awards for his recordings of the Brahms Sonatas with Richard Goode, and Trios of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax. In addition to his appearance in Michael Lawrence’s acclaimed documentary film, “Bach & friends,” he was featured in the International EMMY® Award-winning series “Concerto!” with Dudley Moore and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Richard Stoltzman, resides in Massachusetts and is a passionate Boston Red Sox baseball fan. He is also a Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef.


Stephen Gosling
Photo by Ken Howard


Stephen Gosling, piano

Pianist Stephen Gosling earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees at the Juilliard School. During this time he was awarded the Mennin Prize for Outstanding Excellence and Leadership in Music and the Sony Elevated Standards Fellowship, and was featured as concerto soloist an unprecedented four times. Gosling is a member of New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso, Columbia Sinfonietta, and Ne(x)tworks. He has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, American Composers Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Riverside Symphony, Speculum Musicae, Ensemble 21, DaCapo Chamber Players, Continuum, SEM Ensemble, the League of Composers/ISCM Chamber Players, and Da Camera of Houston. Gosling has made more than 30 recordings for Albany, Bridge, Capstone, Centaur, CRI, Innova, Koch, Mode, Morrison Music Trust, Naxos, New World Records, and Rattle Records.

Eriko Sato  Photo by Ken Howard

Eriko Sato
Photo by Ken Howard


Eriko Sato, violin

Eriko Sato is a leading violinist on the New York City chamber music scene and a co-concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has performed as soloist with orchestras in Louisville, San Francisco and Tokyo. An active chamber musician, Ms. Sato has participated in the Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Sitka, Angel Fire, Gretna, Affinis and Kuhmo Music Festivals, and has appeared regularly with Bargemusic, Chamber Music Northwest, The American String Project, Music From Japan, Caramoor, Dobbs Ferry and the Washington Square Music Festivals. A founding member of the Aspen Soloists, Festival Chamber Music and Salon Chamber Soloists she is also a member of the Elysium, Ecliptica, Strathmere and American Chamber Ensembles.

As a concertmaster of Orpheus, she appears on Deutsche Grammophon recordings, where her releases include Vivaldi’s Four-Violin Concerto and Handel’s Concerti Grossi, Op. 6. For MusicMasters, she appears with the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble in the Bach Concerti and the chamber music of Hindemith and Beethoven. Her latest releases are Allen Shawn’s string quartet “Sleepless Night” and “Mozart Flute Quartets” on Albany Records. She has also recorded for Vanguard, Delos, Elysium and Grenadilla labels and has been featured on CBS News Sunday Morning. Ms. Sato is currently a faculty member of Bennington Chamber Music Conference, Amateur Musicians Project, Hoff-Barthelson Music School and the Mannes College of Music Preparatory and NEXT Divisions, where she teaches violin and chamber music.

Mari Kimura Photo by Ken Howard

Mari Kimura
Photo by Ken Howard


Mari Kimura, violin

Mari Kimura is at the forefront of violinists who are extending the technical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. As a performer, composer, and researcher, she has opened up new sonic worlds for the violin. Mari is widely admired as the inventor of “Subharmonics” and appeared as a soloist with major orchestras including Tokyo Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic and Hamburg Symphony.  She has given important US premiers including works by Luciano Berio and Salvatore Sciarrino.  As a composer, Mari is well known for her works for interactive computer and collaborations with IRCAM in Paris, winning the Guggenheim Fellowship, Fromm Commission, and a residency at IRCAM in 2010.  Her works has been supported by grants including New Music USA, NYFA, Arts International, Vilcek Foundation, Japan Foundation, Argosy Foundation, and NYSCA.  In 2011, in recognition of her ground-breaking work as a foreign-born artist, Mari was named one of “Immigrants: Pride of America” by the Carnegie Corporation, published in the New York Times.   Mari’s CD, The World Below G and Beyond, features her Subharmonics and interactive compositions using IRCAM’s bowing motion sensor.   In 2013, Mari inaugurated a new summer program as the Director of “Future Music Lab” at the Atlantic Music Festival in collaboration with IRCAM.  In 2014, she won the Composers Now residency at the Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and also a grant from the Industry + Technology Assistance Program, funded by the New York State.  Since 1998, Mari has been teaching a graduate course in Interactive Computer Music Performance at Juilliard.


Ah Ling Neu, viola

Violist Ah Ling Neu’s performing career has spanned several continents, including the U.S. Europe, Australia and Asia.  An avid chamber musician, she was a member of the renowned Ridge String Quartet for three seasons, and was invited to the Marlboro Music Festival for four summers in addition to touring with Musicians from Marlboro, and was also a member of New York Philomusica for 20 years.  She is presently a member of the North Country Chamber Players in New Hampshire and the Brooklyn Library Chamber Players and is a frequent guest at the Barge Music in Brooklyn, NY. She has participated in festivals such as the Bridgehampton Festival, the White Mountains Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival and International Musician’s Seminar in Cornwall, England.

Born in Japan of Chinese parents, Ah Ling started viola in the San Francisco public school system at the age of 13.  She continued her studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Gennady Kleyman and Nobuko Imai at the Hague Royal Conservatory in the Netherlands. While she was finishing her studies at SFCM she served as an acting member of the San Francisco Symphony for three seasons.  Ah Ling performs frequently with several orchestras in the NYC area and is currently on the faculty of Columbia University and is the Artist Associate at Williams College.


Wonjung Kim, vocals

Wonjung Kim
Photo by Ken Howard

Wonjung Kim, vocals

Wonjung Kim has captivated audiences around the world with her expressive voice and dynamic theatrical flair. She has appeared at the Opera Garnier in Paris, Dresden Semper Opera, Opera de Monte Carlo and Los Angeles Music Center Opera, singing the roles of Vagans in Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans, Zeffiro in Albinoni’s Il Nascimento dell’Aurora, Licenza in Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione, Amaltea in Rossini’s Moise in Egitto, and Euridice in Bertoni’s Orfeo. Dr. Kim has performed throughout Europe, with Claudio Scimone’s I Solisti Veneti, the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Venice’s San Marco Basilica, and at the Salzburg and Istanbul Music Festivals. She appears regularly at the Cape May Music Festival with the New York Chamber Ensemble. Named Best Classical Artist in the KBS Awards in Korea, she also received an Ovation Award nomination for her starring performance as Queen Min in The Last Empress, produced at New York’s Lincoln Center and at the Shubert Theater in Los Angeles. Her last CD, Between the Notes, was released recently to great acclaim. A champion of new music, she completed the requirements for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University and has performed all over the world with New York’s Continuum. Her recent unique theater piece celebrating the music of John Cage was performed in the 2012-13 season at Lincoln Center.



Ralph Samuelson
Photo by Ken Howard

Ralph Samuelson, lecturer

For nearly 40 years, Ralph Samuelson has pursued a dual career as a foundation professional facilitating US-Asia cultural exchange and as a performer and teacher of the Japanese bamboo flute, shakuhachi.  From 1991-2008 he was the director of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC), prior to which he served as that foundation’s associate director and as program associate of The JDR 3rd Fund.  Mr. Samuelson was trained in the classical tradition of the Kinko school of shakuhachi by the late Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi and other master musicians of Japan and is active globally as a teacher, performer, and recording artist. He has been a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution, Japan Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Henry Luce Foundation, Seoul Institute of the Arts, Arts Council of Mongolia, and others and serves as a Senior Advisor to the Asian Cultural Council.