Japan Society marks the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, with a multifaceted live music concert, part of the commemorative programming series Hope, Struggle & Rebirth in the Shadow of 3/11 taking place at the Society March 10-12.
Nocturne: Reemergence Through Music features the U.S. premiere of pianist and visual artist Tomoko Mukaiyama‘s Nocturne, which combines scintillating and sonorous classical and contemporary pieceswith soundscapes and video footage from the effected Tohoku region. Taking place Monday, March 11, at 7:30 pm, the concert opens with up-and-coming violinist Erika Mitsui performing classical works on a violin made from tsunami debris.
Created in the immediate aftermath of 3/11, Nocturne is acclaimed Amsterdam-based pianist and visual artist Tomoko Mukaiyama’s powerful multimedia project that takes audiences from the dark night (“nocturne”) into the light of a new day. Originally consisting of a live piano concert and a gallery installation comprised of two pianos destroyed by the tsunami, Mukaiyama remounts the work–a sonic tapestry that seamlessly weaves music by Chopin and contemporary works by Rzewski, Sciarrino, Ligeti, Somei Satoh, with an original composition by Mukaiyama herself. Recorded samples of a children’s choir from the area of the tsunami singing school songs are threaded throughout, and the entire piece unfolds against striking video images captured from the devastated region.
The evening also includes violinist Erika Mitsui performing on an instrument crafted by master Japanese luthier Muneyuki Nakazawa from driftwood found in the tsunami disaster areas. Once the flooring and beams of a house, this material now has a second life as a beautifully articulate stringed instrument.
Commemorating the two-year anniversary of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake disasters, Japan Society’s Hope, Struggle & Rebirth in the Shadow of 3/11: Film, Concert & Lecture series underscores the spirit of hope and recovery. In addition to the concert, on Sunday, March 10, the Society screens the New York Premiere of The Land of Hope, famed Japanese director Sion Sono’s fictional fantasia on the human and emotional toll from the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown that occurred immediately following the tsunami. On Tuesday, March 12, MIT’s Richard Samuels discusses his book 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan, the first broad assessment of the effects of the disaster on Japan’s government, society and on the U.S.-Japan alliance.
Motoatsu Sakurai, president of Japan Society noted, “With these special events around the second anniversary of the disasters, we take a moment to reflect on the resilience of the Japanese peopleand the long road of recovery still ahead. Through programming like this and our efforts through the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, Japan Society is committed to providing support over the long term.”
Ticket holders to any event in the 3/11 series receive complimentaryadmission to Japan Society Gallery’s major spring exhibition, Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints, opening March 9. From the timeless, turbulent beauty of Hokusai’s Under the Wave off Kanagawa(1831-34) to the ominous, drowning destruction of Kazama Sachiko’s mammoth 2012 woodblock print Alas! Heisoku-kan (Raging Battle-Ship the Dead-End), Edo Pop juxtaposes classic ukiyo-e prints from masters of Japan’s Edo Period with contemporary artists inspired by these works.
Tomoko Mukaiyama is an internationally recognized pianist and visual artist based in Amsterdam. Throughout her career, Mukaiyama has premiered numerous works written for her including Tao (1996) by Louis Andriessen, Zero (2005) by Atsuhiko Gondai, Piano Concerto (2012) written by Jan van de Putte and Piano Concerto (2013) by Alexander Raskatov, which is scheduled to premiere in the U.S. in March 2014. Since winning first prize at the Gaudeamus competition in 1991 (Netherlands), Mukaiyamahas performed with internationally recognized orchestras and ensembles such as the Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, the London Sinfonietta, the Ensemble InterContemporain and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, among others. She has also collaborated with film directors, designers, architects, dancers and photographers. In 2001, she performed with MERZBOW in a group performance of Song Book by John Cage at the Royal Concertgebouw for The Holland Festival. In 2005, Mukaiyama performed a sonic tapestry of music to Marina Abramovic’s performance during the Egon Schiele Exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. In 2006, she created the music for Tar and Feathers, a dance work by Jiří Kylián which has been performed all over the world, including at the Boston Ballet with Mukaiyama as soloist in March 2013. Inspired by her experiences as a concert pianist, Mukaiyama began her work as a visual artist 12 years ago. Two of her earliest installations,Amsterdam x Tokyo (2000) and for you (2002, Yokohama Triennial), suggest new ways of experiencing a concert space. Other notable installations include you and bach, created in 2006 for the Sydney Biennale, show me your second face (2007), in which Mukaiyama transformed herself and her piano into a fashion sculpture, and Mo-Ichido(2008), literally “once again” in Japanese, where Mukaiyama plays with memory by combing video images, music and scenes together in an installation. Mukaiyama’s multimedia international art project wasted(2009) traveled the globe with 12,000 silk dresses in an attempt to challenge the transience of the feminine virtue of fertility. Mukaiyama’s latest work, SHIROKURO, a dance concert created together with artists Nicole Beutler and Jean Kalman which premiered in Tokyo in October 2012, is scheduled to be presented during the Aichi Triennial and Holland Festival in 2013. In addition, Setouchi Art Festival will present Mukaiyama’s new installation works in 2013. Prior to her performance at Japan Society, Tomoko Mukaiyama will perform as part of an all-Jiří Kylián program at the Boston Ballet.
A native of New York City, Erika Mitsui began studying the violin at the age of three and was admitted to The Juilliard School (Pre-College ’11) at the age of ten, where her teachers have included Ronald Copes and Glenn Dicterow. Mitsui is currently a sophomore at the Columbia University and The Juilliard School as part of the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange Program. Since the age of 12, Mitsui has participated in internationally renowned festivals, including the International Summer Academy Mozarteum University, Weimar Master Class, and Vienna Master Course and has been selected to perform in concerts in France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Japan. In 2008 as the winner of the Juilliard Pre-College Concerto Competition, she performed with the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in Lincoln Center. Mitsui has performed with the Greenwich Village Orchestra and the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra and has given recitals in the Paul and Morse Halls in Lincoln Center, in the Salon de Virtuosi recital series, and the WMP Concert Hall Strad for Lunch series. She has also performed in Steinway Hall and the Miller Theater. Most recently Mitsui won the Monique Shoen-Warshaw Career Grant from the Salon de Virtousi for her recital at the Ambassador of Japan’s residence in memory of the victims of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. She received The Juilliard School’s Achievement Award in 2011. Mitsui is a top prizewinner in the Juilliard Concerto Competitions and the Greenwich Village Orchestra Competition, and is a 2011 National Foundation for the Advancement of the Art’s YoungArts Winner in Music. She is also an avid chamber musician and was invited to perform in The Juilliard School’s 2009 Focus! Festival – California: A Century of New Music and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Meet the Music! Series (2010). In 2009, Mitsui was invited by Seiji Ozawa to attend the Seiji Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy. The invitation was extended to 2010, 2011, and 2012. Mitsui has performed in the Seiji Ozawa Academy Orchestra where she has been principal, the Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-Juku Orchestra (Saito Kinen Festival), the ACJW Ensemble, the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestras where she has been concertmaster and principal, and the Music Master’s Course Japan’s Academy Orchestras, and has worked with conductors including, Michael Gilbert, Robert Mann, Naoto Otomo, Seiji Ozawa, and David Robertson, performing in venues such as the Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Kioi Hall (Japan) and Minato Mirai Hall (Japan).
Hope, Struggle & Rebirth in The Shadow of 3/11
Full Schedule of Events:
The Land of Hope (Kibo no Kuni)
Sunday, March 10, 6:00 pm
Tickets: $12/$9 Japan Society members
Director Sion Sono, whom The New York Times calls “the Japanese provocateur,”challenges viewers’emotions in a very different genre than the cult shockers for which he is best known. The Land of Hope is the world’s first fictionalfilm about the 3/11-related nuclear powerplant meltdown, and recounts disaster, aftermathand personal tragedy in two ordinary families. “So passionately filmed it commands emotional involvement” (Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter).
Monday, March 11, 7:30 pm
Followed by a post-performance reception.
Tickets: $20/$15 Japan Society members
Tuesday, March 12, 6-8 pm
Tickets: $15/$10 Japan Society corporate members beyond membership quota and Japan Society individual members at Patron level and above.
Drawing on his new book, 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan, MIT’s Richard Samuels offers a broad assessment of the effects of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown of March 11, 2011.
Samuels explores perspectives on change and examines how three uncontested narratives–leadership, community, and risk–have shaped post-3/11 politics and policy in Japan.
March 9-June 9, 2013
Admission: $12/$10 students and seniors
Free for members and children under 16
**Complimentary admission for ticket holders to any 3/11 series event through the month of May
Edo Pop reveals the powerful allure of ukiyo-e prints by juxtaposing nearly one hundred classic works with contemporary pieces by ten international artists who draw inspiration from ukiyo-e style, technique, and popular culture. Representing artists from Japan, Europe, and the U.S., the exhibition illustrates the lasting influence of these “images of the floating world” and provides a kaleidoscopic view of popular culture in pre-modern Japan while exploring the constant generative power of art in our time. Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, with the contemporary art selections curated for the New York presentation by Miwako Tezuka, PhD, Director, Japan Society Gallery.
Gallery Hours: Tue.-Thu., 11:00 am-6:00 pm; Fri., 11:00 am-9:00pm; Sat. and Sun., 11:00 am-5:00 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays.
Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First and Second Avenues. The venue is easily accessible by the 4 / 5 / 6 trains via the 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E / V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street.
Tickets for performances and related events at Japan Society can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 212-715-1258 or in person at Japan Society (M-F 11:00am – 6:00pm and Sat-Sun 11:00am – 5:00pm).
For more information about shows, questions about the venue, or to learn more about the entire Performing Arts season at Japan Society, please call 212-715-1258 or visit us on the web at http://www.japansociety.org/performingarts
A slate of standout programs follows Nocturne: Reemergence through Music in the Spring 2013 Performing Arts Season. Macbeth, featuringkyogen star Mansai Nomura in a production that blends the tradition ofkyogen with a contemporary take on a Western classic; and SANBASO, divine dance, co-presented with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in their Rotunda, as Mansai Nomura performs Japan’s oldest celebratory dance featuring accompaniment from noh musicians, in a stage set designed by internationally renowned artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. Completing the Spring season, a popular event returns in April, as theAnnual Play Reading Series: Contemporary Japanese Plays in English Translation showcases Strolling Invader by Tomohiro Maekawa, translated and directed by NY-based theater artist Aya Ogawa.
This series of events marking the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunamis is generously supported by ITOCHU International Inc., Marubeni America Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., and Sumitomo Corporation of America.
The Nocturne: Reemergence Through Musicpost-performance reception support is provided in part by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Major support for Japan Society 2012-2013 Performing Arts Programs is provided by
the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with leadership gifts from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Globus Family, Kyocera Corporation, The Starr Foundation
and Toyota Motor Corporation.
MetLife Foundation is a Corporate Partner of Japan Society’s 2012-2013 Performing Arts season.
Japan Society is also grateful to the following individuals, foundations, and government agencies for their generous support: Dr. John K. Gillespie; The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.; Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II; Mr. Norton Belknap; Mr. Terry Brykczynski and Ms. Andrea Miller; Mr. James C. Nolan; Ms. Hiroko Onoyama;Mr. Michael Romano, Howard and Sarah Solomon; Mr. Alex York; Paula S. Lawrence; and an anonymous donor. New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature.
Transportation assistance is provided by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.
Yamaha is the official piano provider of Japan Society.