Japan Across the World by the Aizuri Quartet
Friday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Astor Court at The Metropolitan Museum of Art – 1000 Fifth Avenue
The Aizuri Quartet, the 2017-2018 MetLiveArts String Quartet-in-Residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is presenting five unique programs throughout the season, which The New York Times has called “genuinely exciting” and “imaginative.” For the upcoming concert on February 23, the group offers a sampling of Japanese composers who have developed distinct musical voices in different parts of the world. Japanese Danish performer and composer Kojiro Umezaki, a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Grammy Award–winning Silk Road Ensemble, joins the quartet on shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute, for a fascinating look at the diversity of Japanese music around the globe. The program also includes string quartets by Akira Nishimura and Paul Wiancko.
- Akira Nishimura: String Quartet No. 5, “Shesha” (2013)
- Lullaby from Itsuki (五木の子守唄) from Kumamoto, Japan
Kojiro Umezaki, shakuhachi
- Kojiro Umezaki: (Cycles) What Falls Must Rise (2009) for shakuhachi, string quartet, and electronics
- Paul Wiancko: LIFT (2016)
The 2017 First Prize Winner at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, the Aizuri Quartet has two Japanese musicians, violist Ayane Kozasa, and violinist Miho Saegusa, who is a past recipient of the Japanese American Association of New York’s Music Award scholarship.
Founded in 2012, the Aizuri Quartet derives its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail. In the 1820s, artists in Japan began to import a particular blue pigment known as “Prussian blue,” which was first synthesized by German paint producers in the early 18th century and later modified by others as an alternative to indigo. The story of aizuri-e is one of innovation, migration, transformation, craft, and beauty.
Admission to Friday’s concert includes same-day Museum admission during open hours. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit The Met’s website and use Discount Code AIZURI50 to receive 50% off.