Music From Japan began its 15th Season on January 9th in Washington DC with the program “Masters of Traditional Instruments.” The concert featured Hidetaro Honjo on shamisen and vocals performing both contemporary and traditional music. Hidetoro Honjo then traveled with Music From Japan to the Asia Society in New York City to perform the same repertoire on January 13th.
A month later, on February 23rd, Music From Japan celebrated its 15th Anniversary at Carnegie Hall with large orchestral pieces by Toru Takemitsu, Teizo Matsumura, Joji Yuasa, Toshiro Mayuzumi, and Akira Nishimura. Of the five pieces, three were American Premieres and one was a world premiere. The Brooklyn Philharmonic performed the pieces under the baton of Lukas Foss; Aki Takahashi and Frederic Rzewski joined the orchestra on pianos for Nishimura’s piece, Heterophony of Two Pianos & Orchestra.
For the final concert of their 15th season, Music From Japan presented “Advanced Technology and Music Today” at the Asia Society on March 24th, 1990. This program featured new electro-acoustic compositions by Kazuo Uehara, Carl Stone, Masahiro Miwa, and David Behrman. The pieces by Uehara (Katarai, for koto and computer) and Behrman (Navigation and Astronomy for koto and pitch-sensing music system) were both commissioned by Music From Japan. Three of the four pieces were world premieres, and the fourth was an American premiere. The program was followed up with a symposium on the 25th that covered music and technology.