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March 7, 2003

UMBC Presents Music of Japan Today Festival

The UMBC Department of Music presents Music of Japan Today, the largest festival and symposium on contemporary Japanese concert music in the United States, from April 2 through April 6, 2003. Featured composers include Joji Yuasa, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Tokuhide Niimi, and Akira Nishimura; performers include Ruckus, the professional contemporary music ensemble in residence at UMBC.

The Music of Japan Today Festival
UMBC will host a five-day festival of performances, lecture-recitals, panel discussions, and paper presentations on topics that concern Japanese music from the widest possible range of disciplines and expertise. Four guest composers of international stature will participate in the festival: Toshi Ichiyanagi, who worked with John Cage in the early 1960s in New York, and has ever since introduced Japan to experimental music; Joji Yuasa, who was a member of the jikken kobo in the 1950s and a Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego from 1981-94; Akira Nishimura, who has received numerous international awards and commissions for his music that is influenced by historic Japanese music and elements from other Asian cultures; and Tokuhide Niimi, who has received international recognition for works that span musical genres from ballet, to choral, to orchestral and chamber music, to music for traditional Japanese instruments.

Performances during the festival will include a broad range of works for different genres (solo instrument, chamber music, choral, traditional instruments) by Yuasa, Ichiyanagi, Nishimura, and Niimi, as well as the winner of a composition competition. They will include the premiere of a new work by Nishimura. The performers for these concerts will include Ruckus (the contemporary music ensemble at UMBC), faculty and students of the UMBC Department of Music, and guest musicians from the Baltimore/ Washington, D.C. area and other international new music centers.

This festival is the fifth in a series of events since 1992 to address Japanese and other Asian musics. Previously held at Hamilton College, the previous events include Asian Music in America: A Confluence of Two Worlds, and Music of Japan Today: Tradition and Innovation I (1992), II (1994), and III (1997).

Music of Japan Today is presented in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, with additional support from All Nippon Airways (ANA), the Asian Cultural Council, the Freer Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Contemporary Concert Music of Japan
Western art music has existed for a relatively short time in Japan. It is only since the 1950s, countering Japan's rush to adopt all that is "Western," that some composers, led by Joji Yuasa (b. 1929), Toshiro Mayuzumi (1929-97), Toru Takemitsu (1930-96), and Toshi Ichiyanagi (b. 1933), began to move away from stylistic modeling of nineteenth-century European forms and twentieth-century dodecaphony towards a more individualistic approach. Concerned with reflecting philosophical and musical elements from their own culture, they began to discover and develop their own music. The music of these artists reflects a new global confluence of multiple culturesa powerful cross-fertilization of aesthetics and musical characteristics from both East and West. The music is reflective of a variety of aspects of contemporary Japanese and Western societies, while at the same time deeply rooted in a traditional culture that has evolved over many years.


Major Public Events
Admission as noted
Public information: 410-455-ARTS or www.umbc.edu/arts

Wednesday, April 2
8 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall
Free admission
Concert by the Ruckus ensemble
Akira Nishimura: Madoromi III for clarinet and piano (2003)
Joji Yuasa: Cosmos Haptic II for solo piano (1986)
Joji Yuasa: A Winter Day: Homage to Basho for flute, clarinet, harp, percussion, and piano (1981)

Thursday, April 3
12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Free admission
National Cherry Blossom Festival, Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Concert: program to be announced

Friday, April 4
7:30 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall
Admission: $10 general, $5 students/seniors, free with UMBC ID.
Concert by the Ruckus ensemble
Joji Yuasa: Cosmos Haptic II for piano solo (1986)
Tokuhide Niimi: Ohju for solo cello (1987)
Akira Nishimura: Madoromi III for clarinet and piano (2003) (world premiere)
Tokuhide Niimi: The Soul Bird for flute and piano (1996)
Akira Nishimura: From Organums for violin, flute, clarinet, vibraphone and piano (1989): Hemiola, Melismas

Saturday, April 5
8 p.m., Fine Arts Recital Hall
Admission: $10 general, $5 students/seniors, free with UMBC ID.
Concert by the Ruckus ensemble
Toshi Ichiyanagi: Cloud Atlas X for piano solo (1999)
Tokuhide Niimi: Lux Originis for violin, clarinet, cello, and piano (2002) (American premiere)
Akira Nishimura: Duologue for Timpani and Piano (1996)
Joji Yuasa: Terms of Temporal Detailing for solo bass flute (1989)
Toshi Ichiyanagi: Cosmic Harmony for cello and piano (1995)
Joji Yuasa: A Winter Day: Homage to Basho for flute, clarinet, harp, percussion, and piano (1981)

Sunday, April 6
4 p.m., Free Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Admission: free, but reservations through Ticketmaster are required.
Concert by the Ruckus ensemble
Joji Yuasa: Cosmos Haptic II for solo piano (1986)
Toshi Ichiyanagi: Cosmic Harmony for cello and piano (1995)
Joji Yuasa: Terms of Temporal Detailing for solo bass flute (1989)
Tokuhide Niimi: Lux Originis for violin, clarinet, cello and piano (2002)
Akira Nishimura: Madoromi III for clarinet and piano (2003)
Tokuhide Niimi: The Soul Bird for flute and piano (1996)
Akira Nishimura: Duologue for Timpani and Piano (1996)


Other Festival Events
Admission to all events is free unless otherwise noted.

Friday, April 4
9 a.m., UMBC ECS Building
Lecture by Toshi Ichiyanagi (via satellite)

9:40 a.m., UMBC ECS Building
Lecture/Recital and Masterclass with Toshi Ichiyanagi
Marimba Music of Japanese Composers
Greg Giannascoli, marimba (Rutgers University) with Chiu-Tze Lin, piano
Toshi Ichiyanagi: Paginini Personal (1982)
Toshi Ichiyanagi: The Source (1989)
Tokuhide Niimi: For Marimba I (1975)

10:30 a.m., UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall
Music of Toru Takemitsu
Lecture by Ieda Bispo, Joetsu University, Nigata, Japan: A Japanese Garden? Western Confluences in Toru Takemitsus In an Autumn Garden for Gagaku
Lecture/Recital: The Cosmic Metaphor of Toru Takemitsus Rain Tree Sketches
Tomoko Isshiki piano - University of Houston, Houston, Texas
Toru Takemitsu: Rain Tree Sketch (1982)
Toru Takemitsu: Rain Tree Sketch II (1992)
Lecture by Hideaki Onishi, University of Washington, Seattle: Dream, Japanese Garden and Toru Takemitsu: Large-Scale Structure of Dream-Window through Set-Class Analysis

1:00 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts Room 011
Lecture/Recital by Calvert Johnson, harpsichordist (Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, Georgia): Harpsichord Music by Japanese Composers
Makiko Asaoka: Four Pieces for Harpsichord (1994)
Isaac Nagao: Ancient Cities (1986)
Karen Tanaka: Jardin des Herbes (1989)
Asako Hirabayashi: Sonatina for Harpsichord (2002) (world premiere)

1:30 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts Room 011
Composer Masterclasses
Joji Yuasa with Reiko Manabe, flute (University of California, San Diego)
Joji Yuasa: Domain (1978)
Tokuhide Niimi with Greg Giannascoli, marimba (Rutgers University)
Tokuhide Niimi: For Marimba I (1975)
Akira Nishimura with Akiko Fukuda, piano (University of Kansas)
Akira Nishimura: Tritrope (1978)

3:10 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts Studio 508
Performance by Gene Coleman, artistic director of the Transonic festival at the House of World Cultures in Berlin, Germany: Pachinko/Zen A Non-Lecture on Japan

3:40 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts Studio 508
Lecture by Kristian Twombly, Department of Music, UMBC: Oppositional Dialectics in Joji Yuasas The Sea Darkens

4:20 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts Studio 508
Concert
Joji Yuasa: Icon (1967)
Takayuki Rai: Pain for Two Computers (1983)
Joji Yuasa: The Sea Darkens (1987)
Mamoru Fujieda: Patterns of Plants (1997)
Steven Kazuo Takasugi: Iridescent Uncertainty (1999)
Yukiko Ito: two-sides for tape (2002)
Joji Yuasa: Eye on Genesis I for UPIC (1991)

Saturday, April 5
9:00 a.m., UMBC ECS Building and UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall
The Music of Toshi Ichiyanagi
Lecture by Luciana Galliano, Universita Ca Foscari di Venezia, Italy: Ichiyanagi as Japanese Composer, and Fluxus
Lecture/Recital by Yoojin Oh, piano (Manhattan School of Music) with violinist Olivier Fluchaire: The Piano/Violin Duo Works of Toshi Ichiyanagi
Toshi Ichiyanagi: Interrelation (1998)
Lecture by Robert Haskins, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York: Cage, Ichiyanagi, Fluxus, Japan: Responses and Resonances
Lecture/Recital by Akiko Fukuda, piano, University of Kansas: A Search for Identity: Postmodern Trends in Japanese Piano Music Since 1985
Takashi Yoshimatsu: Pleiades Dances (1986-2001)
Mamoru Fujieda: Patterns of Plants: The Seventh Collection (1997)
Akira Nishimura: Tritrope (1978)

11:10 a.m., UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall
Lecture by Peter Burt, The Open University, Vienna, Austria: Overtones of Progress, Undertones of Reaction: Toshiro Mayuzumi and the Nirvana Symphony

11:40 a.m., UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall
Presentations of Recent and Forthcoming books on contemporary Japanese music, including Yougaku: Japanese Music in the Twentieth Century (2002, Scarecrow Press) by Luciana Galliano, Universita Ca Foscari di Venezia, Italy; and Locating East Asia in Western Art Music (forthcoming 2003, Wesleyan University Press) by Yayoi Uno Everett, Emory University, Atlanta

1:05 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts 011
Lecture by David Pacun, Ithaca College, New York: Stylistic Counterpoint in the Early Music of Yamada Koscak

1:35 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts 011
Lectures of Guest Composers
Joji Yuasa
Tokuhide Niimi
Akira Nishimura

4:00 p.m., UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall
Admission: $10 general, $5 students/seniors, free with UMBC ID.
Tickets available at the door.
Concert by the UMBC Chamber Players, Ossia (the new music ensemble of the Eastman School of Music, the Maryland Camerata, and Ryan Bridlgand)
Colin Holter: Variations: Go Rin No Sho (2003) (premiere)
Joji Yuasa: Calling Together (1971)
Akira Miyoshi: Reve Colorie for 2 clarinets (1991)
Toshi Ichiyanagi: Music for Electric Metronomes (1968)
Joji Yuasa: Observations on Weather Forecasts (1983)
Tokuhide Niimi: Madrigal II (1981)
Toshi Ichiyanagi: Music For Piano No. 7 (1961)
Toru Takemitsu: Toward the Sea for alto flute and guitar (1981)
Joji Yuasa: Territory (1977)
Joji Yuasa: Mutterings (1988)

Sunday, April 6
9:00 a.m., UMBC Fine Arts 011
Crossovers of Japanese Popular and Art Music
Lecture by Fuyuko Fukunaka, New York University: Globalism, Fetishization, and the "Politics" of Japanese Rap
Lecture by Michael Peluse, Wesleyan University: Tsugaru Shamisen's Latest Boom: Folk Revival or Pop Sensation?
Lecture by Yumi Hara Cawkwell, City University, London, England: Childminder of Takeda

10:40 a.m., UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall
Lecture/Recital by Margaret Lucia, piano (Shippensburg University): Recent Piano Works by Japanese Women Composers
Junko Mori: Imagery (1987)
Nagako Konishi: Fantasy (1995-96)
Keiko Fujiie: Pas de Deux II, Op. 14 (1989)

11:10 a.m., Fine Arts Recital Hall
Jiutamai Dance and Piano, featuring Chie Sato Rodin, piano; Junko Tano, choreographer and dancerTraditional Japanese Dance "Black Hair"
Shigenobu Nakamura: White for solo piano (1983)
Yoichi Togawa: Hi No Chi (The Land of Sorrow) (1991)

11:50 a.m., Fine Arts Recital Hall
Panel Discussion
Joji Yuasa, Tokuhide Niimi, Akira Nishimura, Kazuko Tanosaki, E. Michael Richards


About the Composers
Three Japanese guest composers (Joji Yuasa, Akira Nishimura and Tokuhide Niimi) will be in residence at Music of Japan Today; a fourth (Toshi Ichiyanagi) will participate via satellite.

Toshi Ichiyanagi
Born in 1933 in Kobe, Japan, Toshi Ichiyanagi studied composition with Kishio Hirao and John Cage, piano with Chieko Hara, Barnhard Weiser and Beveridge Webster. After attending the Juilliard School of Music and the New School for Social Research in New York between 1954-60, he returned to Japan in 1961, and introduced many new musical concepts, including Cages idea of indeterminacy, exerting a strong influence on the stream of Japanese contemporary music.

As one of the leading composers in Japan, Ichiyanagi has composed in most genres of music: operas, orchestral, chamber and instrumental works. Among his major works are his violin concerto Circulating Scenery (1983), Piano Concerto No. 2 Winter Portrait (1987) and opera Momo (1995), based on a novel by Michael Ende. While composing these large-scale pieces, he is also known for his compositions using Japanese traditional instruments such as sho and gagaku ensemble. Many of them have been performed throughout the world, especially by Tokyo International Music Ensemble, where he serves as Artistic Director.

Ichiyanagi won the Elizabeth A. Coolidge Prize (1954) and the Serge Koussevitzky Prize (1956) during his studies in New York. He was also a member of Fluxus. Since his return to Japan, he has received numerous awards including the prestigious Nakajima Kenzo Award (1984), the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Government (1985) and Grand Prix of the Kyoto Music Award (1989). In 1990, he was awarded the Otaka Prize for the fourth time, for his unique symphony Berlin Renshi.

His recent works include Coexistence for ondes martenot and orchestra (1996), Symphony No. 5 Time Perspective (1997), Coexistence for orchestra (1997) and Mirage for shakuhachi and piano (1998).

Joji Yuasa
Born in 1929 in Koriyama, Japan, Yuasa is a self-taught composer. While a premedical student at Keio University in Tokyo, Yuasa made the acquaintance of composer Toru Takemitsu and musicologist Kuniharu Akiyama. He joined them in forming the Jikken-kobo (Experimental Workshop) in 1952, and devoted himself to music. Since then, Yuasa has been actively engaged in a wide range of musical composition, including orchestral, choral and chamber music, music for theatre, and intermedia, electronic and computer music. Yuasa has won numerous commissions for his works from such institutions as the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Saarland Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Canada Council, Suntory Music Foundation, IRCAM and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Yuasa has received a number of scholarships at home and abroad, including a Japan Society Fellowship (1968-69), Composer in Residence at the Center for Music Experiment UCSD (1976), Berlin Artist Program by DAAD (1976-77), the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music in Sydney (1980), the University of Toronto (1981) and IRCAM in Paris (1987).

As a guest composer and lecturer, Yuasa has contributed to the Festival of the Arts of This Century in Hawaii (1970), New Music Concerts in Toronto (1980), Asian Composers League in Hong Kong (1981), concert tour for Contemporary Music Network by British Arts Council (1981), Asia Pacific Festival in New Zealand (1984), Composers Workshop in Amsterdam (1984), Darmstadt Summer Course for Contemporary Music (1988), Lerchenborg Music Tage (1986, 1988), and Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo (1990).

From 1981 through 1994, Yuasa was actively engaged in music research and education at the University of California, San Diego, where he is professor emeritus. He has been a guest professor at Tokyo College of Music since 1981 and a professor for the postgraduate course of the College of Arts at Nihon University since 1993.

Akira Nishimura
Born 8 September, 1953, Osaka, Japan, Nishimura studied composition and music theory on a graduate course at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music from 1973 to 1980. While at the university, he also studied Asiatic traditional music, religion, esthetics, cosmology, and the heterophonic concept, all of which has had a lasting influence on his music to the present day.

He was awarded the Grand Prix for Composition at the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Brussels, the Luigi Dallapiccola Composition Award (Milan), three Otaka Prizes, and four other national prizes in Japan. He has been the Composer in Residence of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

In recent years, Nishimura has been commissioned by many overseas music festivals and organizations such as the ULTIMA Contemporary Music Festival, Oslo; Octobre en Normandie, Rouen; Arditti String Quartet; Kronos String Quartet; ELISION ensemble; and the Hanover Society of Contemporary Music. His new works have been performed at WIEN MODERN, Vienna; Warsaw Autumn, Warsaw; MUSICA, Strasbourg; and the Brisbane Festival of Music, Brisbane.

Nishimura is a Professor at the Tokyo College of Music, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Japan Federation of Composers.

Tokuhide Niimi
Born in 1947, Niimi is a graduate of the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, winner of the Grand Prix at the Geneva International Composition Competition for Opera and Ballet, a Special Prize for Performing Arts from the Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs, and commissions from NHK, the National Theater, Suntory, Min-On, the City of Kyoto, and Salford College (U.K.). His orchestral works have been performed in Japan by the NHK Symphony Orchestra and others, and overseas by the Suisse Romande, Netherlands Radio, BBC Scottish, Radio France, Berlin, and Nurenberg. Niimi is currently a lecturer at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Japan Federation of Composers.


Telephone
General Music information: 410-455-2942
UMBC Artsline (24 hour recorded message): 410-455-ARTS
Media inquiries only: 410-455-3370

Web
Music of Japan Today website: http://userpages.umbc.edu/~emrich/mfj2003.html
UMBC Arts website: http://www.umbc.edu/arts
UMBC News Releases: http://www.umbc.edu/newsevents/oci/index.phtml?r=Art
Department of Music website: http://www.umbc.edu/music

Directions
From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Fine Arts Building.

From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the roundabout intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Fine Arts Building.

From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Fine Arts Building.

Daytime metered visitor parking is available in Lot 10, near the Administration Building. Visitor parking regulations are enforced on all University calendar days. Hilltop Circle and all campus roadways require a parking permit unless otherwise marked.

Online campus map: http://www.umbc.edu/aboutumbc/campusmap/

Images for Media
High resolution images for media are available online: http://www.umbc.edu/newsevents/arts/hi-res/ or by email or postal mail.

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Posted by dwinds1 at March 7, 2003 12:00 AM