All photos by Ken Howard unless otherwise noted
All photos by Ken Howard unless otherwise noted 40th ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL East Asian Vibrancy and Highlights of MFJ Commissions IIIContinue Reading
For its 39th season, Music From Japan presented music from Okinawa, the chain of islands that make up the southernmost prefecture of Japan.
For its 2013 Season, Music From Japan presented “Rhythms of Japanese Drums and Flutes” with Kaoru Watanabe and Kenny Endo, and “Japanese Tone Colors on Western Instruments” with Kumi Ogano and Fred Sherry.
Festival 2012 opened on February 18 in New York City’s Merkin Concert Hall with a well-attended weekend of events that presented world premieres of three new MFJ commissions for Iitate, one of them scored for children’s choir and dedicated to the children of the village.
MFJ’s 2011 Festival featured two programs: “Flutes from the East and the West,” which explored the relationship between these two great musical cultures from multiple perspectives, and “Song from the Spirit of Japan,” which celebrated the nation’s enduring song-setting tradition.
Music From Japan celebrated its 35th anniversary with Sukeyasu Shiba and his gagaku ensemble, Reigakusha and “Highlights of Music From Japan Commissions II,” a retrospective of compositions commissioned by Music From Japan in previous years.
Music From Japan opened the New York City portion of its Festival 2009 on March 7 at Merkin Concert Hall with another installment in the Masters of Tradition series.
The Japanese concept of ma was the focus of this presentation. In a pre-concert lecture, Columbia University professor emeritus Donald Keene expounded on the important but often elusive Japanese aesthetic concept of ma, frequently introduced in relation to time and space.
On March 4, 2007, at Merkin Concert Hall, Music From Japan celebrated its 32nd year with The World of Joji Yuasa.
Music From Japan presented two concert programs during its 31st season. The first focused on the Japanese bamboo flute, the shakuhachi.
Music From Japan celebrated its 30th anniversary season (2004-2005) by presenting acclaimed ensemble Reigakusha on tour in the United States and in Fukushima, Japan.
In 2004 MFJ presented two diverse programs: they presented works by composer Ichiro Nodaira, and featured a native Ainu performer, OKI.
Festival 2003 began in New York with a recital by Keiko Nosaka on the 25-string koto and was followed by a concert featuring new works by young Japanese composers including Atsuhiko Gondai, Keiko Harada, Sunao Isaji, Misato Mochizuki, Mica Nozawa and Toshiro Saruya.
Music From Japan Festival 2002 was marked by the organization’s first endeavor in Tennessee. The gagaku group, Ensemble Harena, made its North American debut at the Middle Tennessee State University premiering Kikuko Massumoto’s “Divertimento.”
On November 9th, Music From Japan presented a concert of orchestral music at Carnegie Hall. The concert featured a solo performance by Mayumi Miyata, and several American and world premieres of pieces by Japanese composers, including Toshio Hosokawa, Takashi Yoshimatsu, Karen Tanaka, Tokuhide Niimi, and Shin-ichiro Ikebe.
Music From Japan Festival 2000 included performances in Fukushima, Japan, Washington DC and New York City.
For the 1999 Festival, which took place on February 27th and 28th, Music From Japan featured yet another composer: Maki Ishii.
Music From Japan began their 23rd Season with a concert at the Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
For its 22nd Season, Music From Japan presented “A Tribute to Toru Takemitsu” on Saturday February 8th and 9th at Merkin Concert Hall.
In 1996, as part of the inaugural Lincoln Center Festival, MFJ helped produce a lecture/demonstration and symposium on Gagaku music. The demonstrations and performances centered on Reigakusha, a Gagaku ensemble from Japan led by Sukeyasu Shiba.
1995 was a busy year for Music From Japan. MFJ celebrated its 20th year with new commissions, a collaboration with the NYC Opera at Lincoln Center, and a performance at the UN.
For its 19th Season, MFJ presented “Traditon and Innovation in Japanese Music.”
MFJ presented two exciting programs in 1992: “Masters of Tradition” (featuring Anthony Braxton, Richard Teitelbaum, and Meisho Tosha), and “Woodwind Repertoire.”
In 1991 Music From Japan presented a wide variety of music ranging from contemporary music written for traditional Japanese instruments, string quartets by American and Japanese composers, and music involving (then) state of the art computer interactivity.
Music From Japan celebrated its 15th year with contemporary works for traditional instruments, large orchestral works presented at Carnegie Hall, and a concert featuring the latest in technology in contemporary music.
For its 14th season, Music From Japan featured music for the piano, harp, and traditional Japanese instruments.
For its 13th Season, Music From Japan presented its “Tri-City Festival,” a festival that allowed us to bring Japanese music to New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles.
To begin the 1986-87 Season Music From Japan presented three concerts (December 20th, January 24th, and February 21st) at the Asia Society, each of which highlighted compositions for a specific instrument.
To open its 10th Anniversary Season, Music From Japan presented music by Takashi Yoshimatsu, Mel Powell, Somei Satoh, Katsuhiro Tsubonoh, David Loeb, and Karel Husa on December 7th, 1984at the Asia Society.
Ever-devoted to Japanese-American cultural exchange in music, the 1984 Carnegie concert brought renowned conductor Hiroyuki Iwaki in front of the American Symphony Orchestra to conduct several American and World premieres on the Carnegie stage.
By 1983, the Music From Japan concerts at Carnegie featuring Japanese compositions performed by the American Symphony Orchestra had become a yearly feature of New York City concert life.
For the third year in a row, Music From Japan presented large scale orchestral works by Japanese composers performed by the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, this time on February 24th.
The Sixth season included MFJ’s second orchestral concert at Carnegie Hall, and several other concerts at Japan House and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
For its Fifth Season, Music From Japan presented the American Symphony Orchestra, the Schola Cantorum of New York, and Minoru Nojima on piano, all at Carnegie Hall on November 1st 1979.
Before it began its fourth season, Music From Japan presented music on the radio for the first time…
On November 10th 1977, Music From Japan presented pieces that were written in the ‘70s with a special focus on forward thinking music that represented the shape of things that had yet to come.
MFJ presented a concert on March 1st 1976 that included only pieces composed in the 1960s in an effort to highlight a decade that Mr. Miura regarded as a turning point for Japanese contemporary music.
For its inaugural concert, which took place on March 11th 1975, Music From Japan, then called the Society of Contemporary Music From Japan, presented five pieces written by Japanese composers and performed by American musicians at Japan House in New York City.