The Voyager Ensemble returns to UMBC with The Japanese Connection, featuring musicians and music from Japan! The program celebrates old and new works from Japan, with timeless classic A Way a Lone for string quartet by Toru Takemitsu as well as a world-premiere by Yuriko Hase Kojima, a string quartet based on landscape installation Sunken Garden by the legendary Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. A special guest artist, James Nyoraku Schlefer, will join the ensemble on shakuhachi (Japanese wooden flute), bringing his own composition 2 Blue for shakuhachi and viola. The complete program features:
James Schlefer: 2 Blue for shakuhachi and viola
Michiyo Mamiya: Kio for cello and shakuhachi
Toru Takemitsu: A Way a Lone for string quartet
Yuriko Kojima: From Sunken Garden for string quartet
Jay Reise: The Gift from Urashima Taro for shakuhachi and string trio
In the spirit of armchair travelers everywhere, the Voyager Ensemble explores a new country of the world every concert by combining standard repertoire from the country along with a contemporary work/commission by a composer from that region. Then musicians hailing from the same region join the ensemble with the aim of infusing the concert with cultural and musical flavors. Founded by violist David Yang and violinist Airi Yoshioka in 2016, the ensemble has featured music from Hungary, France, Argentina, and Finland. Voyager has given world premieres by Nicolas Bacri (France) and Fernando Altube (Argentina). The ensemble features Shizuka Inoue and Airi Yoshioka, violins; David Yang, viola; and Hikaru Tamaki, cello.