"Together in Tohoku" Workshop and Concert

Featuring Student Wind Musicians and Sylff Chamber Ensemble

The Tokyo Foundation is organizing a series of Tohoku workshops and a concert at Suntory Hall in Tokyo in mid-August for middle and high school wind musicians in tsunami-affected prefectures.

Leading the “Together in Tohoku” workshops and joining the students in the concert as members of the Michinoku Wind Orchestra are outstanding young musicians affiliated with three of the world’s leading music conservatories in the Sylff community, encompassing 69 institutions of higher learning in 44 countries.

Shortly following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, one Sylff university after another launched donation drives and offered various forms of assistance. Fellows at the three Sylff music schools—the Paris Conservatoire, the Juilliard School in New York, and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna—voiced their desire to support young survivors through music.

Many middle and high school wind ensembles in the Tohoku area were forced to interrupt their activities, as the tsunami swept away or badly damaged school buildings and instruments. In response, the Miyagi Association of Wind Ensembles and the Tokyo-based nonprofit Musicians without Borders, as well as the Carnival Company group of musical artists, launched an instrument donation drive and delivered the instruments to various schools.

The Michinoku Wind Orchestra that will be participating in the Together in Tohoku workshops (August 13-15) and Suntory Hall concert (August 17) is the crystallization of the initiatives launched by Sylff fellows and the desire among student musicians to express gratitude for the donated instruments. Special guest performers at the concert will include renowned conductors Seiichi Mitsuishi and Kazufumi Yamashita and marimba soloist and composer Keiko Abe.

The workshops and concert are organized by the Tokyo Foundation with the special cooperation of Suntory Hall, production support from the Carnival Company, and the cooperation of the Miyagi Association of Wind Ensembles, Miyagi Prefecture Instrument Bank, Musicians without Borders, and the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music.

Tohoku Workshops (August 13-15)

Workshops for middle and high school students (aged 13 to 19) will be held for three days at the Izumi campus of Tohoku High school in Sendai, led by members of the Sylff Chamber Ensemble. The student participants are members of school wind orchestras in Miyagi and other tsunami-affected prefectures who submitted applications and were selected by a drawing.

The workshops will be an opportunity to not only improve playing technique but also experience the joy of making music together with members of the Sylff Chamber Ensemble—outstanding musicians affiliated with one of three world-class music schools—the Paris Conservatoire, the Juilliard School in New York, and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna—in the Sylff community.

The workshops will be an opportunity to practice and rehearse the pieces to be performed at Suntory Hall.

Sylff Chamber Ensemble Mini-Concert in Ishinomaki (August 16)

A mini-concert by members of the Sylff Chamber Ensemble will be held in the downtown area of Ishinomaki, which suffered heavy tsunami damage in March 2011. The venue is a former clothing store that has been renovated into a Community Salon (2 Chuo, Ishinomaki, Miyagi, 986-0822). The concert is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

Suntory Hall Concert (August 17)

Both students and Sylff musicians will perform as members of the Michinoku Wind Orchestra at Suntory Hall. The concert will be a show of gratitude for the donations and demonstrate that the Tohoku area has bounced back from the March 2011 disaster. Invitations are being extended to tsunami survivors and to individuals and groups that donated instruments. The Michinoku ensemble is scheduled to be joined onstage by young musicians from the Tokyo area as a show of unity.

Guest Conductors: Seiichi Mitsuish, Kazufumi Yamashita
Marimba: Keiko Abe (guest appearance)
MC: Mayo Shono
Michinoku Wind Orchestra

Philip Sparke / The Sun Will Rise Again
Alexander Comitas / Elegy for Tohoku
Keiko Abe / Prism Rhapsody II
Johann Strauss I / Radetzky March (Audience members are invited to play along on this piece, so bring your instruments! The score can be downloaded from the Suntory Hall website)

Sylff Chamber Ensemble

Juilliard School (New York)

Merideth Hite, oboe
Moran Katz, clarinet
Barli Nugent, flute (guest appearance, faculty member)

Paris Conservatoire

Dylan Corlay, bassoon
Carl-Emmanuel Fisbach, saxophone
Marie Collemare, horn

University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

Panju Kim, trumpet
Dietmar Nigsch, trombone
David Panzl, percussion

Tokyo Foundation