This year marked the 50th anniversary of the 20-string koto, created in 1969 as a contemporary instrument with traditional roots. However, the average Japanese person still has a strong preconceived image of the koto as being old-fashioned. This performance project is aimed at dispelling this image and taking the koto in a new direction. The intention was to show that there is a world of sound in the koto, with a rich tonal palette that differs from other string instruments such as the harp and guitar; that the koto should not be stereotyped as a traditional Japanese instrument; and that has the individuality and potential making it capable of any expression.
Noriko Hisada: Imagined scenery of a myth for Two 20-stringed Kotos and 17-stringed Koto (2015-2019) (8 works including premiere performances of 2 commissioned pieces)
Arisu Nakamura: Ro for 20-stringed Koto and 17-stringed Koto(2019) (commissioned premiere performance)
Joji Yuasa: Kotouta Busongoku for 20-stringed Koto with song (2008)
Vocal and narration: Akane Kudo
Kotos: Nanae Yoshimura, Noriko Tamura, Yuriko Sakamoto, Hayumi Maruoka, Reiko Shimoda
As a leading specialist of the 20-stringed Koto, Nanae Yoshimura performs frequently in Japan and overseas and has been influential in promoting contemporary music for koto. She has collaborated with many composers on projects ranging from solo works to concertos with orchestras, premiering over 100 compositions. Yoshimura has received many awards, including the Arts Festival Prize awarded by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (1992), the 3rd Idemitsu Music Award (1993), the 1st Japan arts foundation Award (1994), the Kenzo Nakajima Music Award (1999), Japan Society for Contemporary Music Award (2010), the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award for Arts (2010), and the Medal with Purple Ribbon awarded by the government of Japan (spring 2012). In her concert series “Hogakuten – Koto Collection Today,” she has achieved outstanding results in fostering the talent of young musicians and developing new works. Yoshimura is representative of The Japanese Society for Contemporary Koto Music.
JT Art Hall Affinis, Minato City, Tokyo