MFJ’s Festival 2003 featured a tour with world-renowned koto player Keiko Nosaka, who traveled the US with her unique 25-string koto, performing concerts in New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, Washington, DC, Nashville, TN and Berkeley, CA. Nosaka’s recital featured three American premieres including two works by Akira Ifukube, a composer who continues to collaborate with the artist. Nosaka was accompanied on the 25 string bass koto by Mizuyo Komiya. Bonnie C. Wade, Ethnomusicologist and Chair of the Music Department at UC Berkeley, gave a pre-concert lecture in New York about the development of the 25-string koto.
In addition to the koto concert, Music From Japan also presented six world premieres by leading young Japanese composers. These chamber music works were performed by prominent New York musicians at Merkin Hall. The six composers, Atsuhiko Gondai, Keiko Harada, Sunao Isaji, Misato Mochizuki, Mica Nozawa and Toshiro Saruya traveled from Japan to hear their works premiered. They joined well-established American composers Julia Wolfe and Kyle Gann in a discussion following the performance.