• Wednesday, Jul 7, 2010

    JapanNYC Festival at Carnegie Hall and Other NYC Venues, Coming in December





    Part I: December 2010
    Part II: March–April 2011

    Over 40 Events Throughout New York City at Carnegie Hall and Partner Venues
    Celebrate Traditional and Contemporary Japanese Arts, Including
    Music, Noh Theater, Dance, Taiko Drumming, Film, Manga, Art Exhibitions, and Workshops

    Musical Highlights Include Seiji Ozawa Leading Rare Overseas Concerts by the
    Saito Kinen Orchestra and Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku,
    Plus Tributes to Composer Tōru Takemitsu

    Featured Artists Include Mitsuko Uchida, Midori, Masaaki Suzuki and
    Bach Collegium Japan, NHK Symphony Orchestra and André Previn,
    Toshiko Akiyoshi, Martha Graham Dance Company, Kodo Drummers,
    Kashu-juku Noh Theater, Yoshitomo Nara, Eiko and Koma, and Many More

    Extending Beyond New York: Carnegie Hall Continues West Coast Partnership with
    Philharmonic Society of Orange County for Second Consecutive Year with
    JapanOC Festival Presented in Southern California
    at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa and Partner Venues


    (July 7, 2010, NEW YORK, NY)—This December, Carnegie Hall launches JapanNYC, an ambitious two-part citywide festival, led by Artistic Director Seiji Ozawa, inviting audiences to explore the incredible diversity of Japanese arts and culture with more than 40 performances and events at Carnegie Hall and New York City partner venues in December 2010 and March–April 2011.

    JapanNYC explores the world of Japan today, where artists embrace their country’s unique aesthetic sensibilities while continually revitalizing its cultural landscape. Led by Seiji Ozawa, one of Japan’s greatest cultural ambassadors, the festival explores a country that values its long-standing cultural heritage while also embracing and transforming Western arts forms, with a spirit that very much looks ahead.

    The JapanNYC schedule will feature concerts by some of the Japan’s finest classical music artists, including cornerstone festival performances by two ensembles founded by Mr. Ozawa—the Saito Kinen Orchestra and the Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku (Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra)—in rare overseas appearances. The line-up will also include noh theater, taiko drumming, dance, art exhibitions, manga and calligraphy workshops, traditional gagaku performances, and many more musical offerings, including concerts featuring Mitsuko Uchida, Midori, Bach Collegium Japan with conductor Masaaki Suzuki, the NHK Symphony Orchestra led by André Previn, Kodo Drummers, jazz pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi, shamisen players Yutaka Oyama and Masahiro Nitta, pianist Aimi Kobayashi, and more.

    In addition to performances at Carnegie Hall, JapanNYC will extend throughout New York City, thanks to partnerships with prestigious New York cultural institutions, including Absolutely Live Entertainment and New Audiences; Asia Society; Asian Contemporary Art Consortium; Baryshnikov Arts Center; Columbia University; Danspace Project; Film Forum; Japan Society; The Juilliard School; The New York Public Library; The Noguchi Museum; The Paley Center for Media; Paul Szilard Productions and Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance; and Works & Process at the Guggenheim. Free Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts at partner venues—Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts; Abrons Art Center at Henry Street Settlement; LaGuardia Performing Arts Center; and Lehman Stages at Lehman College in the Bronx—will ensure that JapanNYC is accessible to all.

    Extending beyond New York and following the success of its bicoastal Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture in fall 2009, Carnegie Hall will continue its East Coast–West Coast partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County for a second consecutive year. Select artists appearing in JapanNYC will also perform this season at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, as part of JapanOC, a West Coast festival presented by the Philharmonic Society from October 2010 through April 2011, thanks to the generous support of South Coast Plaza. JapanOC will feature a variety of arts events and musical performances representing the vibrant expanse of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, made possible through collaborations with prominent Southern California cultural institutions.

    With programming kicking off later this year, the festivals on both US coasts were planned to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the first overseas trade mission from Japan to the United States and the ratification of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 1860, saluting this milestone and special friendship between two great nations.

    JapanNYC Programming in New York City:
    For a complete chronological listing of events, click here.

    JapanNYC launches in December 2010 with Maestro Seiji Ozawa conducting three Carnegie Hall concerts by the Saito Kinen Orchestra, the prestigious Japanese ensemble that Mr. Ozawa founded in 1984 to honor the memory of his beloved teacher, the conductor and influential educator Hideo Saito. The orchestra’s first Carnegie Hall performance, featuring pianist Mitsuko Uchida as soloist, also offers the US premiere of a new work, Decathexis, by one of Japan’s leading contemporary voices, composer Atsuhiko Gondai. Tōru Takemitsu’s November Steps, scored for traditional Japanese instruments and Western orchestra, will be heard on Saito Kinen’s second program in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, alongside Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Maestro Ozawa concludes his New York visit with the orchestra conducting Britten’s War Requiem, a work that has become a core part of his repertoire and that has great personal meaning to him.

    The festival will pay tribute to the late Tōru Takemitsu—considered by many to be Japan’s greatest composer, and also a close colleague of Mr. Ozawa—with December performances on three consecutive evenings as well as a film series celebrating the composer’s movie scores. Complementing Saito Kinen’s performance of Takemitsu’s November Steps at Carnegie Hall will be a concert of traditional and innovative works presented by the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies at Columbia University and performed by eminent masters of Japanese hogaku instruments, such as the biwa and shakuhachi, which were frequently utilized by Takemitsu in his compositions. The next night, a Zankel Hall performance curated by the composer’s daughter Maki Takemitsu features improvisations on Takemitsu’s film music by such acclaimed artists as guitarists Kazumi Watanabe and Daisuke Suzuki, accordionist coba, and percussionist Tomohiro Yahiro. Rounding out the tribute, earlier in December, Film Forum will present TAKEMITSU, a 14-day festival of movies scored by the composer, including Masaki Kobayashi’s Hara Kiri (1962), Hiroshi Teshighara’s Woman of the Dunes (1964), and Akira Kurosawa’s Ran (1985).

    Surrounding the December 2010 musical performances will be a variety of fall exhibitions, workshops, and theater, including manga and calligraphy workshops for young people presented by the New York Public Library; theatrical performances of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf as part of the Works & Process series at the Guggenheim, performed by the Juilliard Ensemble and George Manahan with narration by Isaac Mizrahi and an installation inspired by Japanese anime featuring a visual concept by artist Rei Sato from Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Co studio; and exhibitions of Japanese visual art throughout New York City. Fall/winter 2010 exhibitions will focus on works by renowned artist Yoshitomo Nara at the Asia Society, Zen master Hakuin Ekaku at Japan Society, and the great artist/designer Isamu Noguchi and his contemporaries at The Noguchi Museum.

    JapanNYC returns in March and April 2011 with three weeks of events across New York City, including performances of classical, jazz, and traditional Japanese music; contemporary theater and visual art; noh and kyogen plays; modern dance; film; and more.

    A major spring highlight will be two rare overseas performances by the Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku (Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra), with programs marking the ensemble’s US debut. Founded by Mr. Ozawa in 2000, the orchestra is comprised of talented young musicians who are given the opportunity to learn and perform both opera and orchestral music under the tutelage of world-class professionals. For JapanNYC, Mr. Ozawa will bring this gifted young orchestra to Carnegie Hall for a concert performance of Mozart’s opera Le nozze di Figaro as well as an orchestral program to include Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Martha Argerich.

    Exciting JapanNYC Carnegie Hall presentations will also include: violinist Midori in two performances—a solo recital and chamber music program; a concert by the NHK Symphony Orchestra, joined by Principal Guest Conductor André Previn and soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa; and Bach’s Mass in B Minor performed by Japan’s premier period instrument ensemble Bach Collegium Japan, led by its founder and Artistic Director Masaaki Suzuki. Also at Carnegie Hall: a Zankel Hall program featuring jazz pianist/composer Toshiko Akiyoshi; traditional Japanese folk music with shamisen players Yutaka Oyama and Masahiro Nitta; and the New York recital debut of classical pianist Aimi Kobayashi.

    Spring 2011 JapanNYC musical highlights across New York City will include a performance of gagaku—traditional Japanese court music that dates back more than 1,000 years—featuring the Columbia Gagaku Instrumental Ensemble at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre. In addition, the acclaimed Kodo Drummers will perform at Avery Fisher Hall in a concert presented by Absolutely Live Entertainment and New Audiences. Also at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School will present two JapanNYC concerts at Alice Tully Hall, one by the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, performing ceremonial and ritual works by Japanese composers, and one by the New Juilliard Ensemble, led by Music Director Joel Sachs, exploring music of the avant-garde after World War II.

    Japan Society will contribute to JapanNYC in spring 2011 with presentations of art and artists both past and present: performances by Kashu-juku Noh Theater, traditional Japanese theater with a 600-year history; and Bye-Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art, an exhibition featuring 16 groundbreaking Japanese visual artists.

    Other fascinating JapanNYC partner events in the spring: the annual Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) in mid-March will connect leading New York galleries and museums in a citywide event of public programs, exhibitions, receptions, lectures, artist conversations, performances, and more. The Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in partnership with Asia Society will present The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, a multimedia play based on a novel by the great Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. BAC will also partner with Danspace to present Eiko and Koma: The Retrospective Project, celebrating 30 years of the pioneering modern dancers/choreographers’ work with film screenings, live performances, workshops, and panel discussions. In Isamu Noguchi and Martha Graham: A Legendary Collaboration, in the Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall, the Martha Graham Dance Company performs a program that includes three works all featuring set designs by famed Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi.

    Film Forum will present Japanese Divas, a series of films spotlighting five legendary actresses—Setsuko Hara, Machiko Kyo, Hideko Takamine, Ayako Wakao, and Isuzu Yamada—from the golden age of Japanese cinema, including some films previously unseen in the US. The Paley Center will present A Window On Japan, highlighting arts and culture films about Japan from its collection, including a Special Family Screening day and a second day featuring Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in Japan (1962), Béjart’s Kabuki Ballet (1986), and Ode to Joy: 10,000 Voices Resound (2002).

    Four free Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, presented in the spring by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in community venues throughout New York City, will invite audiences to experience a diverse range of Japanese artists, including performances by taiko drumming group Soh Daiko; shamisen players Yutaka Oyama & Masahiro Nitta; and the Line C3 Percussion Group in a program called Percussion in Tokyo & New York.

    Tied to JapanNYC, Carnegie Hall will also launch a special web site in the fall: carnegiehall.org/japannyc. This online companion site will feature the most up-to-date information on festival events, interviews with artists, and content providing insight into Japan’s arts scene and JapanNYC festival offerings.

    JapanOC Programming in Costa Mesa, California:

    The West Coast edition of the festival—JapanOC—presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, and at the venues of Southern California artistic partners, will open in October 2010 with a mesmerizing performance of butoh dance by Sankai Juku (October 30). JapanOC will continue through April 2011 with musical offerings at Segerstrom Center for the Arts to include Gustavo Dudamel with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing Takemitsu’s Requiem (March 5); violinist Midori in recital (March 9); Japanese gagaku, part of a program highlighting the traditional music heritage of Japan (March 19); ukulele player/composer Jake Shimabukuro with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (March 24); an evening of jazz with pianist/composer Toshiko Akiyoshi (April 11); and the Tokyo String Quartet (April 19). The festival will also consist of a four-day residency by the Martha Graham Dance Company, with performances featuring sets by artist/designer Isamu Noguchi (February 24-27), as well as special tributes to Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu and Noguchi.

    In addition to performances presented by the Philharmonic Society, JapanOC will feature collaborations with a variety of prestigious Southern California cultural institutions, including a wide range of music, plus theater, dance, film, visual art, and education activities. For more details and updated West Coast festival information in coming months, please visit philharmonicsociety.org/JapanOC.

    Segerstrom Center for the Arts encompasses South Coast Repertory Theater; Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, which opened in 2006; an arts plaza which features the Richard Serra sculpture, Connector; and the future home of the Orange County Museum of Art, which is expected to open in 2016.

    * * * *

    JapanNYC Lead Sponsors are Epson Corporation; Mizuho Securities U.S.A. Inc.; Nomura Holding America Inc. and Nomura America Foundation; Sony Corporation; and Yoko Nagae Ceschina.

    Supporting Sponsors are Deloitte LLP; Mitsubishi International Corporation; Suntory Holdings Limited and Suntory Hall; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; and Toshiba Corporation.

    With additional funding from the Asian Cultural Council; GWFF USA Inc.; Nippon Life Insurance Company; Seiko Instruments Inc.; and Subaru of America, Inc.

    With special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan; Japan Tourism Agency; Japan National Tourism Organization; and the Japan Foundation.

    The Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series is sponsored by Target.

    The West Coast edition of the festival—JapanOC—is presented with the support of South Coast Plaza.

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall. 

    Single tickets for JapanNYC performances and events in New York City will go on sale on August 23 for Carnegie Hall subscribers and on August 30 for members of the public.

    For ticket information and programming updates, please visit carnegiehall.org/japannyc.

    Single tickets for JapanOC performances and events in Orange County, California will go on sale in August 2010.

    For ticket information and programming updates, please visit philharmonicsociety.org/JapanOC.




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