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Colloquium with Yoko Hiraoka, Performer of Japanese Traditional Musical Instruments

Lecture and Biwa performance

Monday, October 29, 2007
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Faculty Center
Downstairs Lounge
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Yoko Hiraoka is a senior master performer of Biwa, Koto, Shamisen and Jiuta voice. She is a native of Kyoto, Japan, and a specialist of classical koto music, Kyushu-ryu Jiuta shamisen and the Chikuzen Biwa repertoire. Her professional performance career originated in Japan and spans almost 30 years.

Since moving to the U.S. in 1993, she has performed extensively at festivals, concerts, lecture/recitals, and on television/radio and studio recordings. Ms. Hiraoka also taught world music ensemble at the University of Colorado in 1997-98 and has been teaching students at Naropa University in Boulder since 1995.

At UCLA, Ms. Hiraoka will perform Biwa music accompanying the Tale of Heike. She will also explain the historical background of such tales and the instrument. The Biwa is an earthy and dynamic string instrument and conjures up a dramatic sound stage. Here, it is used to accompany the sung storytelling based on classic stories as told in the Tale of Heike, an account of the rise and fall of the Taira clan of medieval Japan. Ms. Hiraoka will tell the stories of: Gion Shõja (The bell of Gion Temple), Nasu no Yoichi (Yoichi the archer), Saga no Aki (Autumn in Saga) and Dan no Ura Hikyoku (The tragedy at Dan no Ura).

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