Very Young Composers of Fukushima and New York
Saturday, August 20 at 5:00 p.m.
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center – Broadway at 62nd Street
￼As Part of TOMODACHI Suntory Fukushima Mirai Music Program in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program, eight students from Fukushima, Japan, ages 16 and 17, will participate in a cultural and musical exchange in New York City with their American counterparts, ages 12 through 16, from August 15 through 20. The exchange will culminate in a free concert featuring the young composers’ works performed by Philharmonic musicians and guest artists.
The activities are a continuation of the partnership the Philharmonic established with the TOMODACHI Initiative in the 2014–15 season. The TOMODACHI Initiative was created in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 to support the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational, cultural exchange, and leadership programs.
The young composers from Fukushima have been creating their own arrangements of the Japanese song “Furusato,” which means “hometown” in Japanese, working with Professor Takehito Shimazu in a program based on the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers model, in which students ￼compose, orchestrate, and notate their own music, with the help of Philharmonic Teaching Artists serving as mentors and scribes, and hear it performed by Philharmonic musicians.
The Very Young Composers of New York are Benjamin Araujo, Graeme Buehrer, Austin Celestin, Sebastian Gonzalez, Joshua Poole, Isai Rabiu, Nolan Shaffer, and Cassandra Stevens. The Very Young Composers of Fukushima are Hiromu Akimoto, Issei Endo, Miho Haranaka, Masataka Ishizaki, Erino Nagahashi, Mika Naito, Erika Oura, and Katsumi Tadano.
In the days leading up to the concert, the students will engage with their American counterparts ￼in the Very Young Composers program. Together they will attend composition workshops to finalize their arrangements, share their personal histories with each other, and explore New York City. During the concert, the students from Fukushima and New York will speak about their experiences in the program, and a video of their activities over the preceding days will be screened.
￼￼￼“It will be moving and revealing to hear students from Fukushima express their feelings about their homeland, both in words and music, given what they have been through over the past five years,” said Theodore Wiprud, Vice President, Education, The Sue B. Mercy Chair. “Musicians of the New York Philharmonic have developed a special expertise in helping young musicians tap their musical imaginations, and we look forward to watching the process unfold here in New York.”
Very Young Composers is a program of the New York Philharmonic developed by composer and former Philharmonic Associate Principal Bass Jon Deak beginning in 1995. Working with Philharmonic Teaching Artists who serve as mentors and scribes, students in grades 4 through 8 — many of them former participants in the Philharmonic Schools program who represent the diversity of New York City — compose, orchestrate, and notate their own original music and hear it performed by Philharmonic musicians, often the full Orchestra, including in David Geffen Hall at Young People’s Concerts, Young People’s Concerts for Schools, and following Saturday Matinee Concerts.
￼Numerous communities in the U.S. and abroad have established their own versions of Very Young Composers with assistance from the New York Philharmonic, and international affiliates now exist in Japan, Finland, Venezuela, the U.K., the Netherlands, South Korea, and China, among others. Students communicate with each other across these borders through “Musical Postcards” — in which Very Young Composers from different countries share stories and musical ideas.
During the Philharmonic’s ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour, the Orchestra performed a concert for families in Tokyo featuring music by Fukushima-based and New York-based students; the young composers from Fukushima attended the concert and were among those who traveled to New York in March 2015 for a cultural and musical exchange with their American counterparts in the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program, culminating in a concert featuring the young composers’ works performed by Philharmonic musicians.
This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Subscribers, Friends at the Affiliate level and above, and Patrons may secure guaranteed admission by emailing AdultEd@nyphil.org.
For more information, please visit New York Philharmonic’s website.