Oct 7, 2007

Stepping into the alternate world of Japan

JAPAN THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: Shaman to Shinto, by Alan Macfarlane. Profile Books Ltd., 2007, 256 pp., £16.99 (cloth) Reviewed by MARIKO KATO “In many ways I was like Alice, that very assured and middle-class English girl, when she walked through the looking glass.” ...

Torture chamber

Sep 28, 2007

Torture chamber

Self-styled “hardcore chamber music group” Koch-Schutz-Studer come to Japan to take up a weeklong “residency” at Super-Deluxe in Roppongi, Tokyo on Oct. 1-7. The Swiss improvised electro-jazz trio are known for their radical juxtaposition of sounds, sequencing noises from unrecognizable sources across musical genres, ...

Sep 21, 2007

Touring German ensemble offer up brass from the past

German Brass, one of the world’s top brass ensembles, will tour Japan Sept. 23-28. Ten experienced players perform together in a unique combination, showing off their effortless synchronization perfected over more than three decades and entertaining the audience with a wide and varied repertoire. ...

Sep 14, 2007

Guitar duo carry exotic sounds around Japan

Kiyoshi Shomura and María Esther Guzman, renowned guitarists from Japan and Spain respectively, perform their guitar duo recital across Japan from Sept. 15-30. They promise to entertain with an exotic blend of European Mediterranean repertoire from various periods. Having recently celebrated the 30th anniversary ...

Plucking the final string

Aug 31, 2007

Plucking the final string

The Vermeer Quartet, the internationally renowned string ensemble formed in Marlboro, Vermont, will play their final tour of Japan Sept. 24 to Oct. 7, before retirement at the end of the year. They have played in Japan four times since 1996, and this time ...

Sensitive spin on an all-time classic

Aug 3, 2007

Sensitive spin on an all-time classic

Britain’s world-famous Imperial Ice Stars arrive in Japan for the first time to perform “Swan Lake on Ice” in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture and Tokyo this summer. Despite the company’s origins, the Imperial Ice Stars are made up mainly of Russians — a country ...

Kids leave stuffiness outside the door

Jul 20, 2007

Kids leave stuffiness outside the door

The Czech Philharmonic Children’s Choir visit Iizuka City, Fukuoka, and Tokyo for two concerts this month and next of traditional and folk songs from around the world. Since it was established in 1932, the choir has become one of the Czech Republic’s top ensembles, ...

Japan's favorite violinist

Jul 6, 2007

Japan's favorite violinist

Kyoko Takezawa, one of today’s foremost violinists, celebrates 20 years since making her concert debut with a series of recitals featuring an all-romantic, modern program. Titled “A Trip Around the World on the Violin,” the tour takes in Nagano, Osaka and Tokyo from July ...

Slow train is a coming

Jun 29, 2007

Slow train is a coming

Not many sane people jump out of bed at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning and speed to the coast to see the sunrise. Unless, that is, you’re making your way to Cape Inubosaki, Chiba Prefecture, the Kanto region’s furthermost eastern point. The earliest ...

David Helfgott: Genius reborn

Jun 29, 2007

David Helfgott: Genius reborn

Critical praise — not public adulation — has eluded piano virtuoso David Helfgott since his life inspired the hit movie ‘Shine.’ But that’s fine by him “I am indeed blessed,” says the man whose troubled life would suggest anything but. Australian virtuoso pianist David ...