Listen to Haruki Murakami: Jazz, Classical Music, and The Beatles

 

Don’t miss on a rare opportunity to experience a unique concert of music featured in the novels of acclaimed author Haruki Murakami on March 23 (Friday) 8 pm at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center.  Curated by Professor Junichi Konuma, Japan’s celebrated jazz pianist Hiroko Kokubu and her trio and the 1966 Quartet will collaborate with Filipino pianist April Merced-Misa and actor David Ezra to bring the musical world of Haruki Murakami to life. Admission is Free. For more information, please visit http://facebook.com/jfmanila

ABOUT THE HARUKI MURAKAMI FESTIVAL

The Japan Foundation, Manila is pleased to present the first ever Haruki Murakami Festival in Manila — Experience his Works through Music, Films and Talks from February to March 2018. The Festival, which showcases one of the world’s best-selling and most popular Japanese contemporary novelists, Haruki Murakami, consists of a series of free events categorized in three segments where you will have opportunities to enjoy the world of Murakami with your senses: 1) “Talk about” Murakami: talks, 2) “Watch” Murakami: films; and 3) “Listen to” Murakami: live concerts. For “Listen to” Haruki Murakami, we present two-night live concerts that feature music woven in Murakami’s novels, performed by award-winning musicians from Japan and the Philippines.

 

THE ARTISTS

Hiroko KOKUBU

(Pianist, Composer, Music Arranger)

Hiroko Kokubu studied classical piano at Kunitachi Music College, and went to New York to study Jazz under the guidance of great musicians including Barry Harris. In 1987, she made her first album “More Than You Know” in Japan by JVC. Since then, she has released 23 albums. Not only in Japan, Hiroko Kokubu has gained worldwide popularity. The key to the success of her albums are the warm, beautiful melodies and pop influences of her compositions, which are embodied in her thrilling, hot improvisations. She was a teacher featured in NHK Television for Jazz Pianist courses and has regular programs in both TV and radio. She is currently a visiting professor of Heisei College of Music and SHOBI College of Music, and is the Cultural Ambassador of Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Pref., Japan.

1966 Quartet

A female quartet that performs covers of western music based on classical techniques. They released their debut CD Norwegian Wood—The Beatles Classics with Columbia Japan in November 2010, incorporating “1966” into their name, the year the Beatles arrived amidst Beatle mania in Japan. The quartet have been praised for their performances which juxtapose the rock-and-roll spirit with the group’s refined, classical image on cover albums of Queen and Michael Jackson songs in 2011 and 2012. The group returned to their roots with their fourth album,Help!— Beatles Classics in 2013, demonstrating their development as a unit with energetic and vivid performances. The fifth album, Abbey Road Sonata (2014), was recorded in the famed Abbey Road Studios in England and the group received acclaim, for their sublime merger of Beatles songs and famous classical pieces. They released their first compilation album(Best of 1966 Quartet) in 2015.

The 1966 Quartet comprises Risa Matsuura (violin, leader), Yuki Hanai (violin), Haruka Hayashi (cello) and Aoi Tanaka (piano).

April Merced-Misa

Born and raised in Cotabato, award-winning pianist April Misa has lived and trained solely in the Philippines with the best local mentors, honing her craft through full scholarships at the Philippine High School for the Arts and the University of the Philippines College of Music. She has performed as soloist and collaborative artist in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. For the 33rd Concert Season of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, April was featured as a soloist playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in C Major under the baton of Maestro Tetsuji Honna at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

April has won several awards, notably the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and two concerto competitions, paving the way for her orchestral debut with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto in B-flat minor. Her past mentors include Avelina Manalo, Nita Abrogar-Quinto, Agot Espino, and Reynaldo Reyes. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of the Philippines College of Music.

David Ezra

David Ezra has numerous awards under his belt, including Best New Male Artist in the 2015 Aliw Awards, winning Best Actor in a Musical for his title role in “Aurelio Sedisyoso: A Rock Sarswela” in the 2017 Aliw Awards, and 4 other awards he won with his former group, The FORTEnors. David Ezra is lauded for his powerful portrayal of leading roles in musical theater. In mid 2017, he played one of the lead roles in “La Estrella: A Night of Music and Flamenco”. In 2016, he played Heneral Emilio Aguinaldo, the male lead in Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Mabining Mandirigma”. And playing the title role in “Aurelio Sedisyoso” in late 2017. As a soloist, he has performed in various shows and events across the country. Some of his more significant performances include the recently concluded ASEAN Summit where he sang alongside the country’s top artists for world leaders including US President Donald Trump. He is also proud to have performed alongside the country’s most respected musicians, most notable of which is a concert with the Maestro Ryan Cayabyab and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. Undeniably versatile, he attributes this to his training in the UST Conservatory of Music as well as being the son of Asia’s Diva, Dulce.

Author

Xtian Mack

Xtian Mack took up AB English Studies, Major in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Currently works for a medical transcription company. He is the Founder of arkadymac.com, doing photography, writing, and reporting for the website. He has covered over 300 cosplay, anime, gaming, and pop culture events in the last five years. Loves cute and furry things.

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