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International Performer Shunsuke Kimura Bringing Traditional Japanese Instruments to Special Oct. 20 Concert at Hatfield Hall

October 2, 2012

by Dale Long

Internationally acclaimed composer and performer, Shunsuke Kimura, will use traditional Japanese and western musical instruments to create haunting melodies that help express imagined landscapes in a special concert on Saturday, October 20, at 7 p.m. in Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Hatfield Hall Theater.

      Kimura Profile

World-Class Musician: Japanese performer/composer Shunsuke Kimura plays the flute and Tsugaru Shamisen, a Japanese three-string banjo-like instrument.      

The show is part of events that commemorate the 20th anniversary of the educational collaboration and exchange between Rose-Hulman and Japan's Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT).

A delegation of KIT administrators and educators will visit Rose-Hulman on October 19-20 to exchange educational workshops and learn more about the campus, its faculty, staff members, students and alumni. Rose-Hulman and KIT are alike in their leading position among the technological institutions of their respective countries, and the relationship has seen 20 years of exchanges among faculty and students.  The affinity between the schools is augmented by the fact that both schools share a student-centered educational mission based on innovation. During the KIT visit, Rose-hulman will also celebrate this close relationship with a commemorative sculpture, a Fridndship Garden and an orchard.

The music program offers a special cultural exchange, since Shunsuke travelled to every corner of Japan to find the various melodies, rhythms and styles of carnival and folk music that he has assimilated into his own music-making. His melodies are haunting and characterized by an ethereal serenity.

In fact, Shunsuke's show at Rose-Hulman, titled "Insho," tells a variety of nostalgic stories and he expresses the poetic image in nature, scenery and seasons with delicate nuance of color and sounds. He performs on the flute and Tsugaru Shamisen, a Japanese three-string banjo-like instrument with a distinctive sound that was originally played by wandering blind artists.

As a performer, Shunsuke won the Grand Prix Award at the 2002 All-Japan Tsugaru-Shamisen Contest. He later directed a live performance at the "Sense of Wonder" World Environmental Film Festival and was commissioned to write the music and lyrics for "Amaterasu," a special theatre project for the 25th anniversary of Kodo, the world famous taiko group.

Shunsuke has also composed music for a contemporary kabuki dance show, "Ouna," that was part of a festival arranged by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs Awards. He recently performed on Japan Broadcasting Corporation's "Geijutugekijo" show, and has taken his talents to Europe, America and Asia to collaborate with local artists.

Joining Shunsuke on the Hatfield Hall stage will be Shingo Ikegami, an award-winning musician who specializes in playing the koto, the 13-string national instrument of Japan; Hiromi Nishida, a Tokyo-born violinist; and Ayuko Ikeda, a percussionist who has performed throughout the world.

Tickets for the show are $15 for all guests and available until October 20 at the Hatfield Hall ticket office or by calling 812-877-8544. The ticket office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

 Japan Performers
Celebrating International Exchanges: The upcoming concert by Shunsuke Kimura (middle) and three other Japanese musicians is part of a 20-year anniversary celebration of an educational collaborative and exchange between Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Kanazawa Institute of Technology.