The Hougaku Quartet
NEW YORK, February 16, 2017 — The Hougaku Quartet perform their trailblazing blend of traditional Japanese music with cutting-edge compositions at Asia Society. The performance featured a special guest performance by Ralph Samuelson (shakuhachi). (1 hr., 33 min.)
Re-envisioning contemporary Japanese music, the Hougaku Quartet explores everything from traditional sounds to cutting-edge new compositions, all performed on traditional instruments and in the classic “Sankyoku” ensemble style. A trailblazing group, the Hougaku Quartet carries out its mission of both sustaining and expanding tradition by commissioning new works and reviving performances of masterpieces of Japanese modern music composed since the 1960s. This dynamic group of young virtuoso musicians, trained in the rigorous world of traditional Japanese music, is dedicated to creating music for today and for the future.
With a special guest performance by Ralph Samuelson (shakuhachi).
About the members of Hougaku Quartet
Noriko Hirata was born and raised in Osaka. Noriko Hirata began studying koto under Fumiko Nagata at a young age and continues to study with Satomi Fukami. She graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts with a major in traditional Japanese music. Since graduating, she has won many awards, and given many performances. She gave a solo performance in NHK Educational TV The Arts in Japan – Brilliant Young Emerging Artist, and later participated in the recordings of the same TV program’s theme music and the music for NHK Radio 1’s New Sunday Classic Drama Series. She has also participated in various concerts in Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Italy. Her performances are included in the albums Satomi Fukami: Nikyoku Issou and Harmonia Ensemble: Ballad for the Earth.
Yuiko Terai was born and raised in Fukushima City. Yuiko Terai began studying koto of the Ikuta School under Kyoko Sato at the age of 3, and currently studies under Yuko Endo and Chiaki Endo. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Tokyo University of the Arts with a major in traditional Japanese music. After her post-graduate program, Terai began holding regularly scheduled concerts in her home prefecture of Fukushima. Since 2015, she has also organized recitals in Tokyo featuring musicians who have studies under her. She has performed on NHK FM’s Hōgaku no Hitotoki (Japanese Music Moments) and Hōgaku Hyakuban. She also holds concerts for preschool children to create opportunities for people of all ages, especially children, to enjoy traditional Japanese music. She is dedicated to teaching and promoting traditional Japanese music.
Hiroyasu Nakajima was born and raised in Ibaraki. Hiroyasu Nakajima studied under Gareiyoh Higuchi and Yuka Hamane. He graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts. Upon his graduation, he gave a performance for the Emperor of Japan at the Toka Music Hall in the Imperial Palace. Nakajima has received numerous prizes, including the New Musician Prize at the 38th Ibaraki New Musician Festival, the top prize of the traditional Japanese music category at the 25th New Musician Competition, the Kenjun Prize at the 20th Kenjun Memorial National Koto Competition, and the top prize at the 2nd Hidenori Tone Memorial Japanese Music Competition. In 2013 and 2016, Nakajima performed a solo in NHK Educational TV’s The Arts in Japan – Brilliant Young Emerging Artist and NHK FM’s Hōgaku no Hitotoki (Japanese Music Moments). He has participated in several CD albums including Kinue Nakase: Singing with the Koto, Minao Shibata and His Era: the Second Period, and Aiko Kori Sings the Colors of Four Seasons: the World of Atsushi Gunji.
Reison Kuroda was born and raised in Tokyo. Reison Kuroda began studying the piano at his early age and switched to shakuhachi flute at the age of 20. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Sciences from Waseda University, and a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Japanese Traditional Music from the Tokyo University of the Arts. Mr. Kuroda performed a solo on NHK FM’s Hōgaku no Hitotoki (Japanese Music Moments) and appeared in NHK Educational TV’s The Arts in Japan – Brilliant Young Emerging Artist. He won the top prize at the 2nd Hidenori Tone Memorial Japanese Music Competition. He plays numerous newly-composed pieces as a member of the Ensemble Muromachi and the Hougaku Quartet. He participated in various recordings for TV, radio, and CDs including the soundtrack album for the game O-kami released by CAPCOM.
Presented in partnership with The Japan Foundation
Special Thanks: Takafumi Tanaka (Hogaku Journal)