Kanreki Surprise for James Nyoraku Schlefer

September 17, 2016
7:30 pmto9:30 pm



Kanreki Surprise, James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi, concert, Tenri, Tenri Cultural Institute, Japan, NYC, koto, shamisen, music, concert, Kanreki, 60th birthday


Saturday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Tenri Cultural Institute – 43A West 13th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)

Admission: $25/$15 students

Kyo-Shin-An Arts hosts a surprise concert celebrating the 60th Birthday of KSA’s Artistic Director, Shakuhachi Grand Master James Nyoraku Schlefer. It is very special opener for the organization’s 2016-17 chamber music season at Tenri.

And this is a surprise: Beyond his own participation, James does not know the content of this concert or who is performing.

In Japan, the kanreki, or 60th birthday celebration, symbolizes rebirth. It stretches back to Japan’s adoption of the twelve-pronged, Chinese zodiac calendar through which a 60th birthday marks the completion of a full calendar cycle. Thus, upon reaching 60, a venerable individual may begin life again.

In the traditional Japanese music world, a kanreki is often marked by celebratory concert. KSA’s celebration of James Nyoraku Schlefer honors him as both a performer and a composer and will feature Schlefer performing his solo shakuhachi, Zen honkyoku “Brooklyn Sanya,” a composition with nearly 300,000 YouTube hits, and a unique tribute of short musical vignettes written for the occasion by many of KSA’s commissioned and featured composers.


  • Brooklyn Sanya – James Nyoraku Schlefer (2009)
  • Smile on a Buddha Calm – James Nyoraku Schlefer (2014)
  • The Birthday Tribute! – Compiled with love and respect (2016)

To purchase tickets please visit brownpapertickets.com or call 1.800.838.3006.

Upcoming Programs for the 2016-17 Season

  • November 27, 2016: “Autumn Duos”
    Edward Arron, cello and James Nyoraku Schlefer performing American premieres of duos by Michio Mamiya, Joseph Michaels, Sophie Pope, and Schlefer, also featuring the Kodaly Cello Sonata.
  • March 26, 2017: “Kammerraku Snow”
    The Cassatt String Quartet; Yoko Reikano Kimura, koto; James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi; and Juliet Schlefer, soprano will perform commissioned sextets for shakuhachi and koto by Somei Satoh and Yoko Sato plus a sextet for shakuhachi and soprano by Ciara Cornelius. The Cassatt will also premiere new works by Sebastian Currier and Tina Davidson.
  • April 23, 2017: “Kammerraku Moment”
    Duke University’s Ciompi Quartet with James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi. Featuring the reprise of commissioned quintets by Charles Porter – “Moon Sky” (2010) and Mark Nowakowski – “The 26” (2015), plus the Beethoven Quartet No. 14, op 131.
  • May 21, 2017: “Sakura Tea”
    A program of traditional and contemporary music for Japanese instruments and cello featuring Yoko Reikano Kimura, koto and shamisen; Sumie Kaneko, koto and shamisen; James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi and Hikaru Tamaki, cello. Including Daron Hagen’s “Appassionata” for koto and cello.