What we do

Experiment of piano music to be handed down to the future

  • Organization : Monten Co.
  • Section : Project for improvements in the creative environment
  • Type of Grant Program : Long
  • Art Forms : Music

Outline of the project

Recent years have seen diminishing opportunities to perform pieces for extended piano techniques (prepared piano, performance inside the piano, live electronics, etc.). The purpose of this project is for musicians, concert hall managers and researchers to raise problems related to the promotion and dissemination of extended piano technique works, improve the visibility of these problems, and address the issues from their different standpoints. This year organizers will increase the number of members conducting concert hall-related research – activity that comes under the research branch of this project – and make preparations to work directly on improving the creative environment for extended piano techniques. (Results of research conducted so far under the project’s research branch are scheduled to be made available to the public online in the project’s final year (4th year)).
Key members are pianist Satoko Inoue, musicologist Susumu Shono, composer Yuji Itoh and Yaeko Kurosaki, director of Ryogoku Monten Hall

Project aim
(1) To increase the number of concert halls where extended piano techniques can be played
(2) To increase the number of musicians who can play extended piano techniques
(3) To increase the number of composers to write pieces that include extended piano techniques
(4) To increase the audience for extended piano techniques

Ways to achieve project aims
1. Educate the young generation of artists in expanded playing methods and composition
2. Archive extended piano works to make their musical, historical and artistic value visible and accessible
3. Draw up and share piano management guidelines based on research

Year 1 activities
(1) Workshops
• Introduction and lectures on extended piano techniques (expanded playing methods).
(2) Research
• Literature review-based research into works featuring extended piano techniques.
• Surveys targeting concert hall managers and artists on the status of extended piano techniques.

Year 2 activities
(1) Workshops (continuing from Year 1)
• Introduction and lectures on extended piano techniques (expanded playing methods).
(2) Research (continuing from Year 1)
• Work towards building an archive for works featuring extended piano techniques.
• Interview-style surveys with domestic concert hall operators and piano tuners. A survey will be conducted of the current situation regarding the implementation of concerts featuring extended piano techniques. A survey of the current situation regarding the implementation of extended piano techniques in various countries (in preparation for recommendations on piano maintenance guidelines).
• Public events: “Round-table discussion by composers on the extension of piano techniques.”

Plan for Year 3 activities
(1) Workshops
• We will run extended piano technique workshops on practical application (ensembles, others) (Continuing from Year 1)

• Verification of creation and performance process for pieces for extended piano techniques:
Commissioning and concert performance of new works featuring
extended piano techniques)

(2) Research
• Musicology-style research on works for extended piano techniques (continuing from Year 1)

• As well as setting up a seven-member concert hall research division for the holding of closed study groups and public round-table meetings (targeting those involved in concert hall management), we will present surveys on the situation for the implementation of extended piano techniques in theaters, music venues, etc. at academic conferences.

Plan for Year 4 (final year) activities
(1) The results of musicology-style research from Year 3 on extended piano techniques will be made available to the public.
• We will hold a symposium to present the results of our research
• An archive of musical works featuring extended piano techniques will be published on Ryogoku Monten Hall’s website.
(2) Recommendations for concert hall piano maintenance:
Guidelines for concert hall piano maintenance will be drawn up and published in pamphlet form. The pamphlet will be sent to facilities that cooperated with our surveys, and related organizations. The guidelines will be made downloadable from Ryogoku Monten Hall’s website.


The organization that operates the 50-seat Ryogoku Monten Hall, which opened in 2013. While focusing on both traditional and contemporary work, venue operators enthusiastically introduce and stage a variety of music and performances. The hall constantly holds experimental events, creating new culture.

Satoko INOUE
Graduated with a master’s degree in composition from Tokyo Gakugei University. After a stint as a member of the Musica Practica Ensemble, she went solo from1991. She performs many recitals in Japan and overseas, receiving particular acclaim for her performance of works by Jo Kondo and Morton Feldman. She has released six solo performance albums with HatHut Records (Switzerland) and others. She won the 10th Keizo Saji Prize. Currently Professor at Kunitachi College of Music.


Yaeko Kurosaki
Ryogoku Monten Hall
1F Murasawa Bldg.1, 1-3-9 Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0026
Tel: +81-(0)3-6666-9491
Fax: +81-(0)3-6666-9491
E-mail: contact@monten.jp