Japan premier of Sibelius' 'Tempest' to play in entirety

Aug 28, 2009

Japan premier of Sibelius' 'Tempest' to play in entirety

Among the events being held to mark the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Finland, a standout is the first performance in its entirety here of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ music to Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest.” Sibelius (1865-1957) created seven symphonies, as ...

A coffee, not tea, ceremony

Aug 14, 2009

A coffee, not tea, ceremony

A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony will delight visitors to the MOA Museum of Art in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, Aug. 22-23. As the country in which coffee plants originated and were first cultivated, Ethiopia boasts a sophisticated culture of coffee ceremony. The ceremony is practiced ...

Brazilian Bach performed in rare entirety

Aug 7, 2009

Brazilian Bach performed in rare entirety

A concert featuring “Bachianas Brasileiras” (Brazilian Bach pieces) by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos takes place at Tokyo Opera City in Hatsudai on Aug. 22. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Villa-Lobos was taught to play instruments by his father and he taught himself composition. In ...

Feast on fine Italian opera in a Tokyo restaurant

Jul 17, 2009

Feast on fine Italian opera in a Tokyo restaurant

Italy-based Japanese opera singer Hiroki Watanabe will perform at a dinner show titled “La Voce di Firenze” at an Italian restaurant in Tokyo’s central Hiroo district on the evenings of Aug. 6 and 7. Born in 1971 in Oita Prefecture, Watanabe studied vocal music ...

The first 'Japanese' opera?

Jun 12, 2009

The first 'Japanese' opera?

Kabuki actor and designated Living National Treasure Sakata Tojuro (b. 1931) stages an opera, for the first time in his career, this month at the New National Theatre. “At first, I politely refused the commission, as opera is a closed book to me,” says ...

Jun 5, 2009

Famed Bolshoi returns to Japan

The Bolshoi Opera will come back to Japan in June for the first time in 14 years. The Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, which originated in 1776 and whose current building was completed in 1825, holds some of the most respected performances of ballet and ...

Classical music lovers get set for Matsumoto

May 29, 2009

Classical music lovers get set for Matsumoto

“Sending out high-quality Western classical music from Japan” was the goal for renowned cellist and conductor Hideo Saito (1902-74), who studied in Germany. In 1955, he cofounded the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, where he devoted the latter half of his life ...

May 15, 2009

A promising young violinist to perform around Kanto

The project “Classical for Millions,” which has staged a series of “concerts for the people” at halls around the Kanto region since 2007, will feature Korean-American violinist Esther Kim from June. “This is a new kind of concert for me. Usually I do programs ...

Mexico and Japan make beautiful music together

May 1, 2009

Mexico and Japan make beautiful music together

I n September 1609, when a Mexican sailboat ran ashore in a typhoon near the village of Onjuku in today’s Chiba Prefecture, local fishermen and ama (female divers) rescued 317 souls from the angry ocean. That was Japan’s first contact with Mexican people. “I ...