A delegation will be traveling to Okayama come April 2018! Although our list of delegates is yet to be revealed to the public, it is varied, interesting and impressive. We hope you’ll want to learn more about student exchanges, cultural exchanges and the history of … Continue reading San Jose going to Okayama!
Flutist Ray Furuta is representing San Jose by invitation from Okayama Music Festival held annually in Okayama City, Japan. He is accompanied on piano by Kanako Yamasaki
Their lists of accomplishments is best served by reading their bios. Suffice to say that they have worked internationally to great acclaim while maintaining their connections to local community.
Praised for “Sophisticated” (San Francisco Classical Voice) performances, Ray Furuta has established a reputation as “one of today’s top young concert artists” (Del Mar Times). Officiated as a cultural ambassador to the U.S. in 2014, Furuta has performed and taught world-wide.
He has been a featured artist for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, Miami Chamber Music Society, Juilliard School, and United Nations to name only a few.
As a dedicated chamber musician, he is the Artistic Director of Chamber Music Silicon Valley and has performed with renowned artists including Jon Nakamatsu, Peter Frankl, The Weilersteins, and members of the Kronos, Avalon, Juilliard, Mendelssohn, and Emerson String Quartets.
As a powerful teaching artist, Furuta is the Professor of Flute at Santa Clara University. He as also given master classes at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford University, New York University, University of Victoria, Gettysburg College, and more. As a recipient of the infamous Staller Scholar Award and honored as a distinguished alumni in 2016, Furuta earned is Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Stony Brook University where he was a pupil of Carol Wincenc and the Emerson String Quartet. His other mentors include harpsichordist Arthur Haas and pianist Wu Han.
“THE PROTÉGÉ OF THE GREAT FLUTIST, CAROL WINCENC”
We are very happy that Shin, a native of Okayama, Japan, is the first Japanese national to be a part of the Sister Cities International Board of Directors. In addition to his work as an actor, he has spent a majority of his time doing non-profit work to help other countries in the fields of humanitarian aid, the arts, business and education. For more information about the Koyamada Foundation (Shin & wife Nia) see http://www.koyamada.org
Although we know that these types of events take a lot of time, planning, careful execution and lots of support, they are also some of the wonderful benefits of the sister cities programs and relationships.
Anyone who heard these young, talented musicians know that their teachers, conductors, assistants, families and sponsors have every right to be bursting with pride. They were wonderful.
Thank you to Matsuda-san for ‘modeling’ & Okayama East Rotary for providing the t-shirts to both groups of musicians and for helping make this concert a reality!
These two youth orchestras are amazingly different and amazingly good. They will each share their repertoire, led by their own conductors, but also will join forces and share the stage for two pieces.
Sixty eight young musicians from Okayama will be in San Jose for this event. And the San Jose Youth Symphony, fresh off their tour of Europe this summer and their summer camp, will delight you with their musicality and expertise.
Making this even more memorable is the tribute to peace between nations that this concert represents during this 60th Anniversary year of the establishment of the Sister City relationship between San Jose, CA and Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, on the 72nd anniversary of the nuclear bombing of the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Hiroshima is sister cities with Honolulu, HI. The bombing took place on Aug 6, 1945.
In the current era of unrest in the world, we want to celebrate the good things that the youth of the world can bring towards a peaceful and beautiful future.
Kibigaku is the composite art with music and dance, which was founded by Yoshihide Kishimoto, a Gagaku musician of former Okayama domain in 1872. Kibigaku was performed when Munetada Shrine in Omoto, Okayama City was built. And since then, Kibigaku has been the official ritual music of Kurozumikyo (a type of Japanese religion).
Gagaku was made up of music and dance of Asian countries and those of ancient Japan. Its base was established in around the 10th century and has been passed on until now in various ways. Gagaku has been performed as the music for the court and religious ceremonies.
In 1968 Patti McLoughlin (now Patti Brady), spent more than six weeks as a student visiting our Sister City, Okayama, Japan. She lived with two families a total of 5 weeks and stayed with three other families. The visit left an indelible impression on her which she would like to share with all of you. The delegation arriving in San Jose in just a few days will include a contingent of former exchange students from Okayama, host parents of exchange students that went from San Jose to Okayama and their friends. Many private reunions will be held. Many memories revisited and many new friends made. This is an important part of the citizen-to-citizen relationship that Sister Cities is all about.
The public is welcome to attend the Flag raising at San Jose City Hall, 2pm, Friday, 4/21
Patti’s words from 1968 follow:
“During my 3 months in Japan I visited Tokyo, Nikko, Kobe, Yokohama, Hiroshima Nara and other interesting sights What did I like most? Well, the answer is the people. The people in Okayama (and for that matter everywhere we went) gave us their friendship and their love. On the streets, in the little towns, the beach and at all our talks they listened with interest and sincere friendship in mind. They made me feel welcome, at home and they let me become a part of their everyday life. Through this they have contributed to the understanding of our two nations. Although we are different in many aspects we can still live happily side-by-side productively and helping one another. That fact it is possible could prove to everyone we can have brotherhood. To me the road to brotherhood lies in the understanding of the ideas, the customs and the cultures of our foreign neighbors – sister city relationships prove this!”