Posts Tagged ‘Japanese’
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We are delighted to announce our exciting new client, composer Shigeru Umebayashi, who has just released the a cappella arrangement of ‘Yumeji’s Theme’. Beginning life as the score for the 2000 film “In the Mood for Love”, the original track ‘Yumeji’s Theme’ gained huge popularity, eventually overtaking the film in its fame, and continues to receive over 6,000 streams a day on platforms worldwide. Written for solo violin and string ensemble, the piece has now been re-imagined by a cappella singers in a beautiful rendition, led by British soprano Grace Davidson.

Internationally renowned film composer Shigeru Umebayashi has over 60 film music credits to his name, and multiple awards and nominations. His most famous compositions and productions include the soundtrack for The House of Flying Daggers (2004) and The Grandmaster (2013). Shigeru has also composed the music for the official documentary of the Beijing Olympics, The Everlasting Flame: Beijing 2008.

The beautiful a cappella version of ‘Yumeji’s Theme’, released on the 13th July, is sung by the stunning soprano Grace Davidson and accompanied by the Plum Forest Singers.

The track is now available on all streaming platforms.

(Written on July 24, 2018 )

After having previously worked with Kimiko Ishizaka on her Goldberg Variations project, WildKat PR are delighted to welcome back this talented pianist.

A gifted and obviously devoted Bachian” (James R. Oestreich, New York Times), Kimiko Ishizaka has composed her own completion to Bach’s unfinished masterpiece, Die Kunst der Fuge. In September Kimiko will be performing the London premiere at St. John’s Smith Square, with a pre-concert discussion of her completion with composer Robert Hugill.

kimiko

In 2012 Kimiko Ishizaka received worldwide attention and recognition for her innovative recording of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”, a project that was financed by her fans using the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.com, and which Ishizaka released directly into the Public Domain in a desire to make Bach accessible to as many people as possible. As a result, her recording of the Goldberg Variations is the most visible recording of this work on the internet today.

A similar fan funding campaign led to her 2015 release of Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” which has been praised by multiple reviewers as their favourite interpretation of the work ever. This album was also a great commercial success – a significant fact in the face of ever-declining record sales – having occupied the #1 sales position on both Amazon.com and Bandcamp.com upon its release.

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Kimiko Ishizaka attains her unique Bach style through meticulous coupling of articulation to fugal structure, complete abstinence of the sustaining pedal, and many hours of practice in total darkness. Kimiko is passionate about sharing personal and unique ideas and interpretations that are truly her own, consciously refraining from listening to other artists’ recordings.

Apart from her rigorous efforts towards interpreting the music of J.S. Bach, Kimiko is also passionate about the music of Frédérick Chopin, and about competitive weight lifting.

Keep up to date with news from the Kimiko through her websiteYouTube, Facebook and, as always, through the WildKat PR blog.

(Written on August 1, 2016 )

The premiere of Tokaido Road was announced by the Cheltenham Music Festival today. 

Tokaido Road is a multi-media chamber opera commissioned by Okeanos, the UK’s unique Japanese-Western music ensemble. It takes its name from The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, an iconic series of woodblock paintings by Japanese artist Andō Hiroshige. In 1832, Hiroshige famously travelled along the ‘Tokaido Road,’ which linked Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. Along the way, fifty-three stations provided weary travellers with a bed for the night, but famine and hardship existed in close proximity to these welcoming inns. In The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, Hiroshige appears as a young man and in old age, reflecting not only on the changing landscape of Japan, but the people he met along his journey. He sketched everyone from samurai to starving peasants, geisha and a whole host of lively characters in intimate portraits.

Tokaido Road follows Hiroshige’s journey through Japan using mime, dance, visual imagery and a mixture of Japanese and Western instruments. The opera is composed by Nicola LeFanu, with a libretto by award-winning poet Nancy Gaffield. Tokaido Road‘s distinguished cast includes Jeremy Huw Williams as Hiroshige, Caryl Hughes as his lover Mariko, and introduces prize-winning young soprano Raphaela Papadakis as Kikuyo, a beautiful geisha.

Tokaido Road will premiere at the Cheltenham Music Festival on 6th July 2014. Tickets will be available from the festival’s website on 24th March. For more information and to keep up to date with the Tokaido Road journey, you can take a look at the Tokaido Road blog and follow Tokaido Road on facebook and twitter.

'Numazu' from '53 Stations of the Tokaido'. Projections of Hiroshige's wood blocks will feature in the opera.

‘Numazu’ from ‘The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.’ Projections of Hiroshige’s woodblock paintings will feature in the opera.

 

(Written on March 10, 2014 )

The Huffington Post

Can Women Save Classical Music?

Changing statistics on classical music listeners

NPR

Classical Couples: Sweethearts Sharing The Stage

Happily, the arrows are still flying and the roster of musical matchups keeps growing. For this Valentine’s Day, NPR offer a few contemporary couples making beautiful music.

Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

For violinist Frank Almond, ‘disorienting’ experience brings gratitude

Frank Almond reunited with his 1715 Lipinski Stradivarius, performs with pianist William Wolfram at Wilson Center for the Arts. Monday’s performance was Almond’s first with the violin since it was recovered.

Classic FM Online

HRH the Prince of Wales guests on Classic FM

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales tells of his love of classical music and, specifically, Hubert Parry.

The Guardian

We need to move beyond the cliches about ‘elitist’ opera

Why is opera routinely styled as the antithesis of everyday life? Let’s change the conversation and focus on the real thing, says Alexandra Wilson

‘Japanese Beethoven’ faces the music after admitting he is no longer deaf

Mamoru Samuragochi, who admitted paying professor to write symphonies, says he has regained some of his hearing

How video saved the opera star

Opera is waking up to the power of video. For his new production of Don Giovanni, the Royal Opera House’s Kasper Holten collaborated with a designer who turned U2 tours and the 2012 Olympics into visual spectaculars. Stuart Jeffries goes behind the screens

Limelight Magazine

Bryce Dessner: An American in Perth

All-round musician Bryce Dessner shares insight ahead of his Perth Festival classical gig.

Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

(Written on February 12, 2014 )