Masayo Ishigure 25th Anniversary Koto and Shamisen Concert

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Loreto Theater

This concert series celebrates Masayo Ishigure’s 25th anniversary of activity in the United States. Simultaneously the series will restate her mission with optimism and an eye towards the next 25 years.
The program features musicians playing traditional Japanese instruments: koto, bass koto, shakuhachi, and shamisen. Collaborations with guest artists will incorporate classical guitar, bass, percussion and dance. It is a diverse program presenting both traditional and modern compositions and will be very exciting for new audiences.

Masayo Ishigure began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five in Gifu, Japan and has created an extensive multi-faceted career that continues to stretch the limits of the koto while maintaining a strong grasp of the tradition. After initial studies with Tadao and Kazue Sawai, Masayo became a special research student in 1986 at the Sawai Koto Academy of Music -The academy incorporates many influences from classical to jazz and aims to change the perception of the koto from solely as a traditional Japanese instrument to an instrument of universal expressiveness.  Masayo Ishigure became one of a small group of virtuoso disciples of the Sawais and successfully completed the 33rd Ikusei-kai program sponsored by NHK to foster and train aspiring artists in Japanese music. In 1988, Ms.Ishigure received a degree in Japanese Traditional Music from Takasaki Junior Arts College with a concentration on koto and shamisen. Ms. Ishigure moved to New York City in 1992 and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall-Weill Recital Hall, BAM, Merkin Hall, Asia Society, Japan Society, Metropolitan Museum, Symphony Space and other venues in the New York City metropolitan area. She has been invited to perform at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, the Smithsonian Institute, and was a guest artist with the San Diego Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Masayo Ishigure has appeared in concerts for the World Music Institute, Japan Society, Music from Japan, the China Institute and has participated in music festivals in Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Holland, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Belarus, Jamaica, Hawaii south korea and Alaska. Masayo Ishigure also accompanied several performances by New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Mr. Peter Boal.  In 2015, performance at Kennedy Center "MELODY OF JAPAN . Koto to Opera" She has been featured in multiple television broadcasts some of which included music for CBS Master Works used during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. She has also recorded koto music for use in several television commercials. In 2005, Masayo Ishigure was a recording artist alongside Yitzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and others on the Grammy Award-Winning soundtrack from the movie Memoirs of a Geisha by John Williams.  Awards received "2016 Consul General’s Commendation." She recorded Tori no Yoni (Flying Like a Bird) on the CD entitled The World of Tadao Sawai; and Hayao Miyazaki's animation songs arranged for koto and shakuhachi on the album East Wind Ensemble.  In 2001, she released her own solo CD entitled Grace. Masayo Ishigure has taught koto and shamisen at Wesleyan University, CT and Columbia University since 2010 and offers private lessons in New York City, New Jersey Long Island and Washington DC.

Guest Artists:

John Kaizan Neptune (Shakuhachi)
Miki Orihara (Dance)
Michael Gilsinan (Classical Guitar)
Todd Isler (Percussion)
Arthur Kell (Bass)
Miyabi Koto Shamisen Ensemble (Koto, Shamisen)


Adult: $25
Senior/ Student: $20
Under 13: $12