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The Annual Concert of Japanese Heritage Music – Glories of the Japanese Music Heritage XV “Women Who Made/Make Music”

Sunday, March 8, 2020 @ 4:00 pm

View program notes/photos/videos

To honor Sukeyasu Shiba (1935-2019), founder of Reigakusha, mentor to our mentors, and composer for heritage instruments the Columbia Gagaku Ensemble of New York and renowned visiting artists present great classics he loved as well as his own work in Part I. Part II celebrates the Women’s History Month with world premieres of Elizabeth Brown’s homage to composer-nun Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704) inspired by lyrics of Otomae (1086?-1169) and other pieces by Ayumi Shimonoto and Evelyn Troester DeGraf by imagining a meeting of Otomae and Hildegard von Bingen (1098?-1179) in “Hildegard Meets Otomae.”

The concert is free and open to the public, but advance online registration is highly recommended.

Part I – Gagaku: Sacred Soundscapes Reborn

In memory of Sukeyasu Shiba (1935-2019)


“Gokuraku wa” (Paradise) (1993) by Sukeyasu Shiba



Hyōjō no netori (Prelude in E mode) 

Etenraku (Music of the Divine Heavens)

Learning Etenraku through Singing (shōga) 

Sadachō no netori (Prelude in D mode)

Ryō-Ō (Chinese King of Ryō)

Part II – Women Who Made/Make Music

In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day


A Glimpse at Dawn (2020) by Elizabeth Brown (World Premiere)

In honor of the 400th anniversary of composer-nun Isabella Leonarda’s birth (1620 –1704); Inspired by the lyrics of Otomae: No.26 in Ryōjin Hishō; Commissioned by the IMJS: Institute for Japanese Cultural Heritage Initiatives

Yoko Reikano Kimura (shamisen/voice)

Nancy Kito (harpsichord, Ensemble Leonarda)

Adam Young (bass viol, Ensemble Leonarda)

Susan Graham (baroque flute, Ensemble Leonarda)

Claire Smith Bermingham (baroque violin, Ensemble Leonarda)


Hildegard von Bingen of Germany and Otomae of Japan, singer-composers and 12th-century contemporaries who believed in the spiritual power of song, meet in the 21st century. and share their songs with each other.

Otomae’s Lyrics No.566 in Ryōjin Hishō:

Itsushika to kimi ni to omoishi (One of these days…)

Ayumi Shimonoto (music/voice)

Otomae’s Lyrics No.26 in Ryōjin Hishō:

Hotoke wa tsune ni imasedomo (They say Lord Buddha’s is everywhere…)

Hildegard von Bingen (music)

Evelyn Troester DeGraf and vocalists from the GHOSTLIGHT Chorus (voice)

Otomae’s Lyrics No.177 in Ryōjin Hishō:

Gokurakujōdo no medetasa wa (Paradise is glorious…)

Evelyn Troester DeGraf and vocalists from the GHOSTLIGHT Chorus (music/voice)


Sunday, March 8, 2020
4:00 pm
Event Category:


Miller Theatre, Columbia University
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027 United States
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