Mount Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles
10 Chester Place
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Women in Music Festival
Sunday, March 25
LA Women’s Koto Ensemble (Registration: waiting)
4:00pm – Pompeian Room
Performance: LA Women’s Koto Ensemble
The resonant sounds of the koto zither evoke the majesty of the Japanese court, inviting both contemplation and inspiration. Ten virtuoso koto players perform modern compositions in traditional kimonos.
5:30pm – Auditorium
Explore the koto with Yoko Awaya, Tomoya Nakai, Yuki Yasuda, Sachiyo Yoshimoto, and other members of the LA Women’s Koto Ensemble.
Yoko Awaya is a noted koto and jiuta sangen performing artist and teacher trained at the famed Michio Miyagi School of Koto in Tokyo. In 1975, Yoko Awaya founded the Awaya-kai (粟屋会) Conservatory, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the art of koto and jiuta sangen music and seeks to enhance Japanese cultural and ethnic awareness and appreciation not only in Southern California but also throughout the United States.
Tomoya Nakai is a highly regarded and awarded artist of traditional Japanese music. In addition to the 25-string koto, he also plays the 3-string shamisen lute and composes both solo and chamber music works. Nakai has made it his life work to express the majesty of Japanese Noh theater in music. He performs actively in Japan in various concert venues, schools, and on the radio. He has also performed in Austria, Chile, Dominican Republic, Finland, Mexico, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Born in the Ibaraki region of Japan, Yuki Yasuda began playing the koto at the age of 12. She is a graduate of the Takasaki Junior Arts College, the Sawai Koto Academy, and the NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting Company) music skills development school. Having taught at the Boston Koto Academy for four years, she moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to open the Yuki Yasuda Koto classroom, where she renders private Koto instruction.
A multi-instrumentalist of diverse genres, Sachiyo Yoshimoto was born in Tokyo and reared in Santa Monica where she received formal violin training at age ten under noted instructor Dorothy Compinsky and at The Colburn School of Performing Arts. A veteran violinist with both the National Arab Orchestra and the New York Arabic Orchestra, Sachi is also the co-founder of SAVICTO, a Los Angeles based world music ensemble which performs and promotes music of the Silk Road.
Also featuring koto virtuosi Yukari Fujiu, Yuki Kudoh, Yumi Ozaki, Sayaka Pereira, Stephanie Simpson-White, and Nanami Yoshimura.