Welcome Spring with Music from Kyo-Shin-An Arts and Tenri Cultural Institute

Spring Light

Premiering Sunday, March 21 at 4:00 p.m. EDT

Online on Musae

Admission: $5 and up

Celebrate the coming of spring with the sounds of Japan! Kyo-Shin-An Arts and Arts at Tenri present Spring Light, a concert featuring Sumie Kaneko, Yoko Reikano Kimura, and James Nyoraku Schlefer. From the 17th to the 20th century, Spring Light will have traditional and contemporary trios and duos for koto, shamisen, and shakuhachi.

Tune in for the premiere to enjoy a live chat with the performers. Can’t make it on Sunday? No worries! This concert will remain available for repeat and future viewing.


Yasha Mai (Dance of Yasha) by Kaoru Wada (b.1961)

Yachiyo Jishi by Fujinaga Kengyō (fl. 1740)

Hanakazashi (Floral Hair Ornament) by Seiho Kineya (1914-1996)

Miyako no Haru by Yamase Shoin I (1845-1908)

Ticket/Contribution Levels

If you’re struggling due to the pandemic, take advantage of Kyo-Shin-An Arts’s “Pay What You Can” offer. If you’re able to contribute more to help someone else pay less, please do!

$5  –  I Just Need to Smile Right Now

$15  –  Fan of Kyo-Shin-An Arts

$25  –  Friend of Kyo-Shin-An Arts

$50  –  Supporter of Kyo-Shin-An Arts ($25 tax deductible)

$100  –  Patron of Kyo-Shin-An Arts ($75 tax deductible)

To purchase tickets, please visit Musae.me.

Once you purchase your ticket, you will receive a link that will enable you to watch the performance as many times as you wish following the premiere broadcast. You can view the concert on any device: phone, tablet, computer, or TV.

Sumie Kaneko, Yoko Reikano Kimura, and James Nyoraku Schlefer

About Sumie Kaneko

Sumie Kaneko began studying the koto when she was five and performed her first broadcast for NHK the following year. In 1995, Sumie won the Takasaki International Competition for koto performance. She studied Japanese traditional music for koto and shamisen at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, then studied Jazz vocal at Berklee College of Music in 2006.

Performance highlights include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, TED talk, Getty Center, Boston Ballet, Silk Road Project, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has also given workshops at Harvard and Princeton Universities, Wellesley College, Berklee College of Music, and others. In 2014, her jazz fusion project, J-Trad and More, was invited to the Washington, DC Jazz Festival, co-sponsored by the Embassy of Japan.

Kaneko was the shamisen player for Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work “The Long Christmas Ride Home”, and she has collaborated with many world instrumentalists including Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe, On Ensemble, and Yumiko Tanaka, as well as painters, dancers and calligraphers. She has toured in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Jamaica (by Japan Foundation NY), Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and throughout the United States.

For more information, please visit her website.

About Yoko Reikano Kimura

Saitama native Yoko Reikano Kimura’s wide-ranging repertoire features classical music and improvisational pieces. She studied several musical instruments from a young age and went on to receive the top prize for her graduation recital at Tokyo University of the Arts and Music. Kimura learned from many revered instructors, including a Living National Treasure, Senko Yamabiko.

Kimura founded Duo YUMENO with cellist Hikaru Tamaki in 2009. Together they have explored blending Western classical music and traditional Japanese music. They released their first album, Flowers, Birds, Wind, Moon: Music by Marty Regan, in 2015. The duo has performed around the world, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall. The Duo received a Chamber Music America Commissioning Award in 2014 and the Kyoto Aoyama Barock Saal Award in 2015.

For more information, please visit her website.

About James Nyoraku Schlefer

Lifelong Brooklyn resident James Nyoraku Schlefer is a Grand Master of the Japanese shakuhachi flute, one of only a handful of non-Japanese artists to have achieved this rank. He is a virtuoso performer of traditional and contemporary music, an esteemed teacher in the Kinko school, and a ground-breaking composer. Schlefer’s efforts promote and sustain traditional shakuhachi music through performances, lecture/demonstrations, residencies, and concert programming. His original compositions forge new ground with contemporary works for both Japanese and Western instruments and ensembles. In 2015, Musical America International honored him as one of the “30 Top Professionals and Influencers.”

For more information, please visit his website.

About Kyo-Shin-An Arts

Kyo-Shin-An Arts is a contemporary music organization with a mission to commission music and present concerts that bring Japanese instruments—specifically koto, shakuhachi and shamisen—to Western classical music. A 2016 and 2013 CMA/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award winner (small presenter, mixed repertory), Kyo-Shin-An Arts works in partnership with established ensembles and Western soloists, bridging two cultures by introducing composers and players alike to the range and virtuosity of Japanese instruments and the musicians who play them. The resulting music provides audiences with a unique introduction to traditional Japanese music within a familiar context and fabulous contemporary music.

For more information, please visit their website.

Tenri Cultural Institute and Kyo-Shin-An Arts Present

The excellent acoustics and intimate gallery setting of the Tenri Cultural Institute create a superb setting for listening to chamber music and offer audiences the rare opportunity to hear both traditional and contemporary music from two cultures in a setting similar to the music rooms of the courts and castles of both Europe and Japan. More than 300 years of chamber music tradition are presented throughout this series. Performances feature piano trios and string quartets from the great composers of Europe, music from Japan’s Edo period written for shamisen, koto, and shakuhachi and contemporary music combining Western and Japanese instruments.

For more information, please visit their website.