Japanese String Musician to Perform in Concert Series
JONESBORO – Japanese musician Yoko Hiraoka returns to the Arkansas State University campus Tuesday, Nov. 27, to perform as part of the university's Lecture-Concert Series.
With generous funding support from the College of Liberal Arts and Communication, Department of Music, and Diversity and Community Engagement, the presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall (GPS: 2412 Quapaw Way). Admission is free.
Hiraoka, a senior master performer of biwa, koto, shamisen and jiuta voice, is a native of Kyoto, Japan, and previously performed at A-State in 2013. Her program at A-State, "Supernatural Tales: Ghost and Demons," will feature "Yugao (Moon Flower)," "Miminashi Hōichi (Hōichi, the Earless)," and "Adachi-ga-hara (Demoness in Adachi Fields)."
She studied classical and modern koto and shamisen music from an early age, including chikuzen five-string biwa for many years with Kõka Suga, the head of Kõmyõji-ryû Chikuzen Biwa and direct disciple of Yamazaki Kyokusui, the living national treasure.
"This is a very rare opportunity to hear the Japanese biwa performed exceptionally well," noted Dr. Tim Crist, professor of music and chair of the Lecture-Concert Committee. "The sound of the biwa projects the essence of Japanese culture and art. Yoko Hiraoka is a wonderful singer and storyteller who will delight and fascinate all audiences, young and old."
Hiraoka's performance career originated in Japan and spans almost 30 years. Her repertoire includes contemporary compositions by Japanese and American composers as well as the entirety of the classical Japanese repertoire. Even in Japan, the biwa is rarely heard.
The Lecture-Concert Series serves Arkansas State and the surrounding communities by bringing notable guest speakers and performers of diverse backgrounds and wide appeal to the campus, Crist added.
Also on the 2018-19 series schedule are The Romain Pilon jazz trio, Jan. 31; Aulos Baroque Ensemble, Feb. 19; author and venture capitalist Scott Hartley, Greenfield Lecture, Feb. 28; classical guitarist Jordan Dodson and composer Jason Eckardt, March 11; the Rhythm Method String Quartet, March 26; the chamber ensemble Neave Trio, April 3; and Delta Symposium speaker Simon Bronner, a folklorist and cultural historian, April 12.
For more details about the series, interested individuals may visit the Lecture-Concert Series website (AState.edu/LectureConcert), or contact Crist, tcrist@AState.edu, (870) 972-2094.
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