Enjoy a free koto performance by Mitsuki Dazai at 1:15pm at the Cathy Rudd Cultural Corner in the Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center.
Artist Bio: Mitsuki Dazai
Mitsuki Dazai is a graduate of Tokyo’s prestigious Kunitachi College of Music, studied koto with the world-renowned virtuoso Kazue Sawai, and received her certificate in koto instruction at Sawai Koto Institute. Dazai moved to Oregon in 2002, serving as a guest lecturer at universities in Oregon, as an artistic director of new koto ensemble group, Oregon Koto-Kai (Japanese Koto Society of Oregon), and touring throughout the US, Europe, South America and Japan.
In 2010, Dazai was featured on Oregon Art Beat and released two CDs —Autumn, Music for Solo Koto (2007), and Far Away…Romances for Koto (2010) in collaboration with Grammy nominated composer Michael Hoppe. Her artistry is also featured on the album Shanti Samsara: World Music for Environmental Consciousness, produced by Grammy-winning Composer, Ricky Kej. In 2016, she was invited to 21C Music Festival in Toronto, Canada, and played with Continuum Contemporary Music.
The standard Koto is a thirteen-string plucked zither. It was introduced to Japan from China through the Korean Peninsula in the 7th century. The instrument has been part of the Gagaku court ensemble for over one thousand years, gradually becoming popular among the merchant classes of the Edo period (1600-1868). An important member of the traditional Sankyoku ensemble, along with the three-string Shamisen and Shakuhachi (bamboo flute), the Koto developed further in a solo capacity, eventually gaining its place as one of Japan’s most prominent musical instruments. Today a varied repertoire along with a wide range of playing techniques provides a wonderful palette of sound textures, making the Koto appealing to audiences the world over.