Yoko Hiraoka Performs 'The Tale of Heike'
Love, war and the evanescence of life will be the themes when Biwa master Yoko Hiraoka takes the stage for a concert of traditional Japanese music.
The Biwa is an ancient lute-like string instrument used for centuries as an accompaniment to the singing voice. Biwa musicians traditionally sing of medieval battles and chivalry. Many of these stories were collected in The Tale of Heike, an epic set in 12th-century Japan and centering on two warring clans.
Hiraoka will perform classic Biwa works, explain the origins of the instrument, and explore the warrior culture of medieval Japan.
A native of Kyoto, Japan, Hiraoka is a senior master performer and licensed teacher of Biwa, Koto, Shamisen and Jiuta voice. Her performance career originated in Japan and spans almost 30 years. She has performed at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Princeton, Yale, UC Berkeley and many other universities and at major music festivals throughout the United States.