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 ...

Apr 24, 2009

World-renowned Dresden orchestra to perform in Kanto

Among the classical-music highlights of this spring will be performances by the Staatskapelle Dresden orchestra, returning to Japan for the first time since 2007. Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden, which celebrated its 460th anniversary in 2008, is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Based ...

World-renowned Dresden orchestra to perform in Kanto

Apr 24, 2009

World-renowned Dresden orchestra to perform in Kanto

Among the classical-music highlights of this spring will be performances by the Staatskapelle Dresden orchestra, returning to Japan for the first time since 2007. Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden, which celebrated its 460th anniversary in 2008, is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Based ...

Bach leads Tokyo classical festival

Apr 10, 2009

Bach leads Tokyo classical festival

“I told myself to combine the study of commerce and my passion for music,” says French producer Rene Martin, who has built on those foundations to pursue his vision of democratizing classical music through the annual spectacular he’s named La Folle Journee (Days of ...

Apr 10, 2009

Age knows no boundaries for flutist

He celebrated his 80th birthday in January, but Swiss flutist Peter- Lukas Graf — who is still active as a performer, conductor and teacher — is touring Japan. “There is a proverb by an ancient Greek philosopher that says: ‘Don’t be excessive.’ Basically, I ...