The Arianna String Quartet once again welcomes the dynamic New York City based Kyo-Shin-An Arts for a fascinating evening of music for traditional Japanese instruments and string quartet as part of UMSL’s International Performing Arts Series. This performance, titled “Kammerraku Harvest,” will feature a commission for shakuhachi, koto, and string quartet by Aleksandra Vrebalov, and “Floating Bridge of Heaven” for shamisen, shakuhachi, and string quartet by Donald Womack.
Founded in 2009, Kyo-Shin-An Arts is a contemporary music organization that often partners with established chamber ensembles such as the Arianna String Quartet to build new bridges between musical cultures, introducing composers, performers, and audiences to the beauty and versatility of Japanese instruments and their virtuoso performers. Kyo-Shin-An Arts has received two Chamber Music America/ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.
Kyo-Shin-An Arts is appearing as part of the International Performing Arts Series, presented by UMSL Global with funding from the Ei’ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Aria Endowed Professorship in Japanese Studies. For more information about UMSL Global, please visit global.umsl.edu.
About Kyo-Shin-An Arts Artistic Director James Nyoraku Schlefer: Schlefer is a Grand Master of the shakuhachi (Japanese flute) and one of only a handful of non-Japanese artists to have achieved this rank. Schlefer first encountered the shakuhachi in 1979 and today is considered by his colleagues to be one of the most influential practitioners of this distinctive art form. He received the Dai-Shi Han (Grand Master) certificate in 2001 and his second Shi-Han certificate in 2008 from the Mujuan Dojo in Kyoto. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as well as in concert venues across the United States and in Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, and Europe.
As a composer, Schlefer has written multiple chamber and orchestral works combining Japanese and Western Instruments, as well as numerous pieces solely for traditional Japanese instruments. Schlefer taught shakuhachi at Columbia University for ten years, is a professor of World music courses at New York City College of Technology (CUNY), and performs and lectures at colleges and universities throughout the United States.
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