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Masayo Ishigure

Spiral Music

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
6:00 PM–9:00 PM

Spiral Music presents acoustic music every Wednesday evening at the base of the Museum’s spiral staircase. Artists who specialize in music from the Himalayas and South Asia are invited to forge a connection between their music and the art in the galleries.


About the Musicians

Masayo Ishigure began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five in Gifu, Japan, and has created an extensive, multifaceted career that continues to stretch the limits of the koto while maintaining a strong grasp on the tradition.

In 2005, Masayo Ishigure was a recording artist for the Grammy Award-Winning soundtrack for the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” by John Williams alongside Yitzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and others. In 2001, she released her own solo CD entitled “Grace”. Ishigure has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall-Weill Recital Hall, BAM, and Symphony Space, among many other institutions.

Masayo will be performing with her students Kenneth Hutchinson (shamisen), Kyoko Morishima (koto), and Hitomi Nakaso (koto).

Kenneth Hutchinson was born in New York City where he studied classical piano and blues guitar. In the 1980s he began composing music for independent films such as Agent on Ice and The Sandman. In 1990 he moved to Tokyo for four years and since returning to New York has been performing with the New York Sawai Koto Academy. In 2013 Hutchinson performed at the International Koto Festival in Australia. Currently Ken is an architect and director of construction for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo.

Kyoko Morishima was born in Hiroshima, Japan. She has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Tokyo Zoukei University and has studied koto with Masayo Ishigure since 2001.

Hitomi Nakaso is from Kyoto, Japan, and is a member of the Miyabi koto ensemble. She has been studying koto as a student of Masayo Ishigure for two and a half years.