photo by Marty Sohl
Music From Japan celebrated its 30th anniversary season (Fall 2004) by presenting acclaimed ensemble Reigakusha on tour in the United States and in Fukushima, Japan. For the occasion Reigakusha performed pieces from the traditional gagaku repertoire, as well as world premieres of MFJ-commissioned works by Keiko Fujiie and Kazuo Kikkawa to commemorate the anniversary. The program also featured contemporary reigaku works composed for modern replicas of musical instruments from the eighth-century Shoso-in collection housed in Todaiji monastery-temple complex in Nara, Japan.
The season opened at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on September 8th, 2004 with the program “Reigaku and Gagaku: A Living Tradition.” A second version of the program, including traditional bugakui (gagaku dance), was presented in Washington, DC on September 9th at the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center as part of its Prelude Festival. On September 12th, Reigakusha made its final US tour appearance at Hertz Hall on the campus of UC Berkeley, presented by Cal Performances. The 30th anniversary season concluded with events at the Fukushima Ongakudo in Fukushima, Japan on December 4th and 5th.
Audiences at the New York and Berkeley concerts were treated to a pre-concert lecture-demonstration by distinguished speaker Toshiro Kido, f0rmer Director of the National Theater of Japan, with the cooperation of members of Reigakusha. Kido was introduced by Professor Bonnie Wade at UC Berkeley and the event was cosponsored by the Music Department and the Institute of East Asian Studies. In Washington, DC, a separate lecture-demonstration was given on September 10th at the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution.