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Four Seasons in NY: Gems of Japanese Music Vol. 27
April 2 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EDT$30
We invite you to celebrate the spring season with us at Four Seasons in New York: Gems of Japanese Music Vol. 27 by the acclaimed vocalist and koto and shamisen player Yoko Reikano Kimura, with special guest composer and shakuhachi player James Nyoraku 如楽 Schlefer, on Sunday, April 2, 2023 at 4pm in the award-winning White Room at CRS. This concert is presented by CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) and Yoko Reikano Kimura and is supported by Hogaku Journal and Mar Creation, Inc.
“James Nyoraku Schlefer occupies a special place in [New York City’s] cultural life, composing and performing music that bridges Western and Japanese styles.” — The New Yorker
Tickets are $30 cash only at the door. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org
* Our top priority is the health and safety of the CRS audiences, artists, and staff. For this concert we ask that you wear a mask. Thank you for your kind understanding and corporation.
“…Yoko Reikano Kimura, playing the shamisen and singing, is superb….” — New York Times
“…Kimura’s voice was rich and full-bodied ….” — KC METROPLIS
About Four Seasons in New York – Gems of Japanese Music
New York’s music scene reflects the diverse and vibrant culture of the city. Kimura, together with CRS (Center for Remembering and Sharing), began this concert series in the fall of 2015. As a Japanese instrumentalist, she hopes to introduce the brilliance of traditional Japanese music, which is still being passed on to future generations after many centuries. Starting with the 2018-19 season, the series has featured contemporary pieces composed by living composers as well. Since the first concert, about 50 works from the classical repertoire have been introduced in the concert series. Please come and experience the sounds of koto and shamisen and enjoy the taste of the four seasons here in New York!
About past performances: https://www.yokoreikanokimura.com/projects/fourseasons/
About the Artists
YOKO REIKANO KIMURA is a distinguished virtuoso of Japanese koto, shamisen performer and singer in both traditional and contemporary music. Kimura has concertized in about 20 countries around the world based in New York and Japan. Following her studies at the Tokyo University of the Arts, she studied at Institute of Traditional Japanese Music, an affiliate of Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Japan. Kimura was awarded a scholarship from the Agency of Cultural Affairs of Japan. Her teachers include Kono Kameyama, Akiko Nishigata and Senko Yamabiko, a Living National Treasure. Awards include the First prize at the prestigious 10th Kenjun Memorial National Koto Competition and the First prize at the 4th Great Wall International Music Competition. Kimura performed at the Kabuki-za in Tokyo, accompanying Danjuro Ichikawa XII. Her performances have been broadcasted on NHK-FM’s Hogaku no Hitotoki, NPR’s Performance Today and WKCR. As a koto soloist, Kimura has performed Daron Hagen’s Koto Concerto: Genji with the Wintergreen Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Mei-Ann Chen and several string quartets. As a shamisen soloist, she performed Kin’ichi Nakanoshima’s Shamisen Concerto at the National Olympic Memorial Youth Center.
Her performances have been featured at many opera and theater works, such as Michi Wiancko’s Murasaki’s Moon at Metropolitan Museum, Piestro Mascagni’s Iris by American Symphony Orchestra, Basil Twist’s Dogugaeshi, Yasuko Yokoshi’s Bell and many others.
Kimura is a founder of Duo YUMENO, with cellist Hikaru Tamaki. The duo received the Kyoto Aoyama Barock Saal Award in 2015, and featured at Chamber Music America’s 2016 National Conference, and performed at the John F. Kennedy Center in 2017. In 2019, the duo had its ten-year anniversary recital at Carnegie Hall.
yokoreikanokimura.com | duoyumeno.com
James Nyoraku 如楽 Schlefer has been playing the shakuhachi for 40 years. A native New Yorker, he first heard the instrument in 1979, while working towards his Master’s degree in musicology. This was at a musical soirée in New York’s famed Dakota building, hosted by one of the professors at the CUNY Graduate Center. There was a sankyoku ensemble of shakuhachi, koto and shamisen, and following the performance, Schlefer was offered the opportunity to play the bamboo flute. The effort was met with total failure and taking that as a mandate, he began his now four-decade long pursuit.
Schlefer received his Dai-Shi-Han (Grand Master) certificate in 2001, and in 2008, a Shi-Han certificate from Mujuan Dojo, in Kyoto. In Japan Schlefer studied with Yoshio Kurahashi, Reibo Aoki, Katsuya Yokoyama, and Kifu Mitsuhashi. His first teacher was Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin in New York. He is trained in the Kinko school following the lineage of Jin Nyodo.
Schlefer holds a Master’s degree in Western flute and musicology from Queens College, and currently teaches shakuhachi at Columbia University and music history courses at the City University of New York. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, BAM, the Metropolitan Museum, at colleges and universities throughout the US, and has toured in Japan, Malaysia, Brazil and counties in Europe.
In 2008 Schlefer co-founded Kyo-Shin-An Arts to further his enthusiasm of combining the sounds of Japanese and Western classical music traditions. Since that time KSA has commissioned dozens of new compositions, presented an annual series of concerts in New York, and partnered with classical ensembles throughout the US and in the UK.
Schlefer has four solo recordings, Wind Heart (1996) – which travelled 120,000,000 miles aboard the Space Station MIR – Solstice Spirit (1998), Flare Up (2002), and In The Moment (2008). His music has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and MPR’s Performance Today. Schlefer’s recording Spring Sounds, Spring Seas (2012) on MSR Classics, features his original music for shakuhachi and orchestra.