22nd Kurashiki Music Festival fetes choice ensembles


The Kurashiki Music Festival, with concerts featuring a wide range of music, will be held in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, from March 15 to 23.

In this 22nd annual staging of the festival, some 20 concerts by professional and amateur musicians of classical, jazz, pop and Japanese traditional music will take place.

Among the featured concerts is the Vienna Phil Ensemble 11 (March 16, 3 p.m.). These top 11 players of wind and percussion instruments from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will perform selections including the “Voices of Spring” waltz and the overture of the operetta “The Bat,” both by Johann Strauss II, along with music by Mozart and Puccini.

The concert will be held in the hall of Kurashiki-shi Geibunkan, a 15-minute walk from Kurashiki Station on the JR Sanyo Line. Tickets are ¥5,000 and ¥3,000 in advance, or ¥500 more at the door.

On March 21, is “Jazz 6 Pianos” in the hall of Kurashiki Shiminkaikan, showcasing six renowned jazz pianists from Japan, including Hiroko Kokubu and Yosuke Yamashita.

The six pianists will play pieces including “Spain” by Chick Corea and “Bolero” by Joseph-Maurice Ravel.

All seats are reserved and are priced at ¥6,000, ¥5,000 and ¥4,000.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Kurashiki Shiminkaikan is a 20-minute walk from Kurashiki Station. All three venues are in or near a preserved area of the city famous for beautiful Edo Period white mud-walled warehouses along the Kurashiki River, where there will be concerts of amateur musicians.

The shows will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 15, 16, 22 and 23; admission is free. The reserved area, called Bikan Chiku, is a 15-minute walk from Kurashiki Station.

For more information on the music festival, call Ars Kurashiki at (086)434-0505 or visit www.arsk.jp/m-fes-2008/ (in Japanese). For reservations, call Ars Kurashiki Ticket Center at (086) 434-0010.