About the program
Genji: A Concerto for Koto and Orchestra composed by Rhinebeck resident Daron Hagen and featuring Yoko Reikano Kimura on the koto. Audience favorites round out the program including Tschaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty Suite, Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess and Finlandia by Sibelius.
Program subject to change.
Guest koto player- yoko reikano kimura
Yoko Reikano Kimura guest koto player
Yoko Reikano Kimura is one of the most captivating artistic voices of Japanese koto and shamisen, consistently praised by critics for her musical elegance and versatile repertoire. The New York Times described her playing and singing as “superb.” San Francisco Examiner also praised, “an elegant refined presence perfectly poised, she played with precision, beauty and the utmost confidence.”
Based in New York and Japan, Kimura has concertized around the world, including prestigious venues such as the Warsaw Autumn Festival, Nova Arts in Bordeaux, Vilnius Festival, The Uijeongbu Music Theatre Festival, Israel Festival, Le Festival Mondial des Theatres de Marionnettes in France, Chicago International Puppet Festival, and The University of Cambridge. In Japan, Kimura has performed at the Kabuki-za for the play, Sukeroku starring Danjuro Ichikawa XII, and has also appeared in venues including National Theatre, National Noh Theatre, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Suntory Hall and World Heritage Sites. Since Kimura moved to the US in 2010, her performances has been featured at renowned venues such as John F. Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, the United Nations, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Park Avenue Armory, New York Live Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Asia Society Texas Center and Japan Society.
Kimura has worked with world-renowned musicians and artists such as Heiner Goebbels, Daron Hagen, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Wiener Soristen Trio, Basil Twist, Yasuko Yokoshi, among many others. Kimura has recorded for Albany Records, MSR Classics and various labels in Japan, and her performances have been broadcasted on NPR’s Performance Today, WQXR, WKCR, NHK-FM and Nippon TV’s The MUSIC DAY. Highlights of her
solo performances include Daron Hagen’s Koto Concerto: Genji with the Wintergreen Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Mei-Ann Chen, Kaito Nakahori’s Japanese Footbridge for koto and chamber ensemble at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Kin'ichi Nakanoshima’s Shamisen Concerto at the National Olympic Memorial Center, the Novi Sad Academy of Arts Symphony Orchestra and the Texas Music Festival Orchestra at the Round Top.
In 2009, Kimura founded Duo YUMENO with cellist Hikaru Tamaki. The highlights of the duo’s performances include its 10th Anniversary Recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., the opening concert of Japan – CARICOM friendship year 2014 in Trinidad. The duo has received grants from Chamber Music America and Barlow Foundation, and was awarded the 24th Kyoto
Aoyama Barocksaal Award. The duo’s new album, Heike Quinto (composed by Daron Hagen) will be released by the Naxos label in 2024. In 2024 - 2026, the duo will give the world premiere performance of Hagen’s Aviary: Concerto for Koto, Cello, and Orchestra.
As part of her mission to promote the brilliance of traditional Japanese music, which is still being passed on from generation to generation after many centuries, Kimura has been presenting her concert series, Four Seasons in New York - Gems of Japanese Music since 2015 and has performed over 60 traditional Japanese masterworks. Her awards include the First prize at the prestigious 10th Kenjun Memorial National Koto Competition, the First
prize at the 4th Great Wall International Music Competition and the Osaka Chinese Counsel Award. Kimura graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts and Music, where she was awarded the top prize for her graduation recital and continued her studies at the NHK (Japanese national broadcasting corporation) School for Young Professionals. As a recipient of a scholarship from the Agency of Cultural Affairs of Japan, she studied at Institute of Traditional Japanese Music, an affiliate of Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, where she was a faculty member until 2010. Kimura has studied with Kono Kameyama, who is considered the preeminent pupil of legendary koto and shamisen performer, Kin’ichi Nakanoshima, Senko Yamabiko (Living National Treasure) and Akiko Nishigata. Kimura holds master certificates from Hiroko Nakanoshima VI and Senko Yamabiko. As a Japanese koto specialist, Kimura recently served as a consultant for Carnegie Hall’s educational program.