Arts at Tenri and Kyo-Shin-An Arts present SPRING KAMMERRAKU



Spring Kammerraku, NYC, Japan, Tenri, Arts at Tenri, Kyo-Shin-An Arts, James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi, koto, shamisen, string quartet, Japanese traditional instruments, contemporary classical music, Yoko Reikano Kimura, Yumi Kurosawa, Arianna String Quartet

Arts at Tenri and Kyo-Shin-An Arts present SPRING KAMMERRAKU

Sunday, April 17 at 4:00 p.m.

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

Tickets: $25/$15 seniors and students

A 2016 and 2013 CMA/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award Winner, KYO-SHIN-AN ARTS is a contemporary music organization dedicated to the integration of the Japanese instruments koto, shakuhachi, and shamisen into Western classical composition. The organization’s award-winning concert series at the Tenri Cultural Institute features a blend of KSA commissions with World, American, and New York premieres of traditional and contemporary music for Japanese instruments and Western repertoire.

Shakuhachi Grand Master James Nyoraku Schlefer will be joined by the Arianna String Quartet, Yumi Kurosawa on koto, and Yoko Reikano Kimura on shamisen for SPRING KAMMERRAKU. East meets West in “Dream Corner,” Schlefer’s haunting septet and love story for sankyoku trio and string quartet. This dramatic opus in 11 movements combines two iconic ensembles for the first time in the dramatic tale of two lovers who meet only when they dream.

The program also features KSA’s ongoing collaboration with the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program, with four new works for koto, shamisen, shakuhachi and string quartet by two students from New York and two from Japan.

James Nyoraku Schlefer has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, and BAM, as well as multiple venues across the country and in Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, and Europe. As a composer, Schlefer has written multiple chamber and orchestral works combining Japanese and Western instruments as well as numerous pieces solely for traditional Japanese instruments. He teaches shakuhachi at Columbia University, a broad spectrum of Western and World music courses at New York City Technical College (CUNY), and performs and lectures at colleges and universities throughout the United States. In December 2015, Schlefer was recognized by Musical America Worldwide as one of their “30 Top Professionals and Key Influencers” for his work both as a composer and as Artistic Director of Kyo-Shin-An Arts.

Formed in 1992, the Arianna String Quartet is John McGrosso and Julia Sakharova, violins; Joanna Mendoza, viola; and Kurt Baldwin, cello. It is the faculty quartet at the University of Missouri St. Louis and the ensemble in residence at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. One of America’s finest chamber ensembles, its performances have been praised for “tonal warmth, fastidious balance . . . expressive vitality” (Chicago Tribune) and “emotional commitment and fluent virtuosity” (Pretoria News, South Africa). They have collaborated with many of the world’s finest musicians, including members of the Vermeer, Tokyo, Cleveland, and Juilliard Quartets, and their live performances have been heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.”

Yoko Reikano Kimura performs classical Japanese music in the Yamada school style and is an active proponent of contemporary music for Japanese instruments. She has toured the world as a soloist, and she works extensively with her husband, cellist Hikaru Tamaki, as Duo Yumeno, an ensemble that is a recent recipient of a Chamber Music America Commissioning Award. A graduate of the Tokyo University of the Arts and Music, where she won the top graduation prize, Kimura continued her studies at the NHK School for Young Professionals and the Institute of Traditional Japanese Music. She was awarded the First prize at the prestigious 10th Kenjun Memorial National Koto Competition and at the Great Wall International Music Competition.

Yumi Kurosawa was born and raised in Japan and began studying the 13-stringed-koto at the age of three with her parents, Kazuo and Chikako Kurosawa. At the age of 15, she began studying the 20-stringed-Koto with Nanae Yoshimura. Kurosawa received first prize at the National Japanese Koto Competition for students in 1989 and 1992 and a scholarship from The Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan in 1998. In addition to the koto, Kurosawa also studied computer music while attending Keio University. She has performed extensively in Japan, including appearances at Suntory Hall, Tokyo, and on NHK Broadcast TV, and she has toured in Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Russia, and the U.S. Since her arrival to New York City in 2002, Kurosawa has worked within the traditional Japanese and contemporary classical music genres but also collaborated with a range of artists including musicians, dancers and visual designers. The innovative approach in her original compositions is without boundaries, seamlessly blending her traditional training with elements of modern Jazz and electronica. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2006 at Weill Recital Hall and in 2011 was principal soloist in Daron Hagen’s Koto Concerto: Genji, a Kyo-Shin-An Arts commission, which premiered in New York City,

To purchase tickets please visit or call 1-800-838-3006.