Naoyuki Miura, Artistic Director of Music From Japan, and John Fleming, President of the Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA) are pleased to announce this exciting summer program, US-Canada-Japan Encounters in Music. The Institute is presented in association with MCANA and offers US and Canadian composers and critics the opportunity to travel to Japan for a series of concerts and educational events. US composer Anthony Cheung and Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri will present their cutting edge work as part of Tokyo Sinfonietta’s 43rd concert and attend educational programs on traditional and contemporary Japanese music in Tokyo and Fukushima. Cheung and Di Castri, who hold positions at University of Chicago and Columbia University, respectively, are highly honored composers and educators, working across several disciplines including orchestral composition, chamber composition, electronic media, and sound art. In addition, ten esteemed critics, all members of the Music Critics Association of North America, will attend the programs and participate in a series of forums with the Japanese and North American composers.
On July 5 at Tokyo Concerts Lab, Classical and Contemporary Gagaku will introduce the participants and audience members to both new and old works for gagaku instruments. On July 6, also at Tokyo Concerts Lab, five works by Japanese composers previously commissioned by Music From Japan will be performed. Both concerts will be preceded by lectures at 5:30pm, by professors Naoko Terauchi and Yoko Narazaki, respectively. The third program, which is presented by Tokyo Sinfonietta, will take place at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Recital Hall on July 7. It will feature work by the two visiting composers alongside two more MFJ commissions by Japanese composers. All of the works will be performed by Tokyo Sinfonietta led by its director and renowned conductor Yasuaki Itakura. Professor Johanna Keller of Syracuse University will give a brief lecture on North American Music Now after the intermission.
Following the Tokyo events, the composers and critics will travel to Fukushima for two more days of concerts and educational programs. A highlight will be a performance by regional folk music groups at Fukushima City Concert Hall on July 8th. It will be preceded by an introductory lecture by Hironori Kaketa, a specialist in the folk performing arts of the region. On July 9th, the last day of the institute, the visitors from the US and Canada will meet with the Governor of Fukushima. Afterwards, the group will travel to Iitate Village for two performances: elementary school students will sing the Iitate Village Song and Time, Come Around (commissioned by Music From Japan); and middle school students will perform the Rice Planting Dance of Iitoi (an area of Iitate). A lecture by Shunichi Tanaka and an open forum will follow. The events in Iitate, which will conclude the five-day MCANA/MFJ Institute, will take place at a newly built elementary school.