Events Calendar - June 2010
This calendar is subject to change. Please check back often for updates.
Itchu Bushi - Classical Japanese Music
Miyako Itchu XII, shamisen
Friday, June 4, 2010
7:30 p.m., Orvis Auditorium, free
Itchu Bushi is a school of Japanese music featuring chanting accompanied by shamisen which was developed by Miyako Itchu I in Kyoto at the end of the Genroku Period (1688 - 1704). It was performed on the early kabuki stage in both Kansai and Edo.
Miyako Itchu I was the heir to a temple who decided, instead, to make his life with music. He began with the innovations of Chikamatsu and Gidayuu and created his own musical style. Instead of long pieces that narrated a story all in the same honjooshi tuning, he developed shorter pieces with great musical variety by inserting short popular songs in niagari tuning. These pieces could be used for climactic scenes in a play, dances and the michiyuki travel scenes which were the poetic and musical highlight of love suicide plays. During the time of Miyako Itchu I and Miyako Itchu II, Itchu Bushi became a featured part of Kabuki plays in both Kansai and in Edo and so many amateur musicians learned Itchu Bushi that in 1737 it was written that there is no house without mice droppings or Itchu Bushi practice books.
Not only was Itchu Bushi extremely popular, one of Miyako Itchu I’s students, a man named Miyakoji Bungo-no-Joo became the ancestor of many schools of narrative music, including Tokiwazu, Tomimoto, Kiyomoto and Shinnai. After these other styles became dominant in the Kabuki theatre, Itchu Bushi disappeared from the stage, but continued to be performed as a form of chamber music and this is the form in which Itchu Bushi is performed today.
Miyako Itchu XII. Born in 1952, Miyako Itchu started his training and studies of the shamisen and Tokiwazu Bushi style of jooruri (narrative singing) with his father at a very young age. In 1972, he entered the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, majoring in Nagauta shamisen performance. In 1975, he took up the study of Itchu Bushi with the eleventh generation Headmaster (Iemoto) of the Itchu Bushi shamisen guild, Miyako Itchu XI. He also succeeded his father to the Tokiwazu name, Mojizoo in 1981 and soon ascended to the rank of lead Tokiwazu shamisen musician for the Kabuki theatre in 1986. In 1992, at the request of his teacher, Itchu XI, he took his present name, Miyako Itchu XII and succeeded the twelfth generation Headmastership (Iemoto).
Starting with lecture concerts in 1994, Itchu XII has recently made getting traditional Japanese music wide spread awareness to the communities in Japan as well as abroad. His second outreach cultural activity entitled, “Enjoying Japanese Music with Miyako Itchu,” presented in 1997 at the National Theatre in Tokyo, was enthusiastically received and since then such cultural activities have been organized and presented. Since 1995, Itchu XII has taken his cultural outreach programs international with performance and lecture tours to the US, Australia, China and Germany.
Ellen Masaki Piano Celebration
Sunday, June 6, 2010
4:00 p.m., Orvis Auditorium, $25 suggested donation
click to enlarge
This concert in rememberance of Ellen Masaki by her students, former students, and friends celebrates the life and work of this renowned piano teacher. Donations will help support the Ellen Masaki Piano Scholarship Endowment.
The recital will include works by Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Schubert.
Performers include Maile Cha, Irwin Jiang, Nancy Masaki, Lisa Nakamichi, Andrew Ramos, Tyler Ramos, Eugene Son, TJ Tario, and Thomas Yee.