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Autumn Concert with
Harpsichord and Violin

• The duo sound of harpsichord and violin in the Autumn Concert cheered up the end of summer melancholy feeling of the audience. The concert was hosted by the New Chicago Japanese American Association (NCJAA) in conjunction with the Chicago Futabakai Japanese School on September 27 at the North Shore Baptist Church.

• Rie Katayama, President of NCJAA, informed the audience that harpsichordist Asako Hirabayashi flew from Minnesota solely for the concert, and violinist Emi Tanabe helped to bring about the concert despite her busy schedules. She said, “A dreamy concert came true.”
• Masakazu Sakai, PTA President of the Futabakai, said that the school has diligently worked to interact with American culture and participate in cultural events by supporting the music concert.
• Consul Shinichiro Nakamura of the Consulate General of Japan thanked NCJAA’s effort to hold a wonderful concert and creating an opportunity to share good music.

• The concert started with Franz Biber’s Rosary Sonata No. 1 “Annunciation”, followed by Bach’s Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue BWV 903, and Corelli’s “La Folia” Sonata.
• Tanabe showed a baroque violin and a modern one and explained the differences between the two instruments.
• The harpsichord was loaned by a musician in Evanston, who said, “If Hirabayashi comes to play, I would be willing to offer my harpsichord for her.”

• After an intermission, the two musicians played “Sonatina for Violin and Harpsichord,” which Hirabayashi had composed for a violinist. Sometimes later she changed it for harpsichord solo, and the piece won the first prize at a competition.

• The last piece was “Street Music” composed by Hirabayashi. When she traveled Spain, she encountered a variety of good street music that inspired her to compose the piece.

• Profiles:

• Asako Hirabayashi
• As a harpsichordist, Hirabayashi has appeared as a guest featured soloist in international festivals and music series worldwide including her debut recital at Carnegie Hall.
• She has won numerous grants and awards including the 2009-2010 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and the Irene Diamond Scholarship from the Juilliard School.
• As a composer she has won several first prizes at international composition competitions including the Alienor International Harpsichord Composition Competition and NHK International Song Writing Competition in Japan.
• She has taught classes at Aichi Gakusen University and Ichimura College in Japan, as well as at the Juilliard School. She has given lecture recitals and master classes at numerous schools. She also has served as a judge of Music Teachers National Association Student Composition Competitions.
• As a composer and harpsichordist, her first CD, which was entirely composed and played by herself, was selected as one of the five best classical CDs of the year 2010 by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

• Emi Tanaba
• Tanabe began studying the violin at the age of three and played at a master class under Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the age of six.
• She moved to the U.S. in 1995 to attend the Eastman School of Music, the University of North Texas, and Roosevelt University, where she earned a bachelor’s, a master’s, and an orchestral diploma degree.
• She is known as a versatile violinist and has performed with various groups with different styles of music including Irish Choir “ANUNA”, rock singer Rod Stewart, and Hollywood actor John Malkovich.
• Currently, she is a member of Apollo’s Fire (Grammy nominated baroque orchestra) and made her debut concerts in Tanglewood, MA and BBC Proms in London. She also is a member of pop groups and often plays with a blues band, a Latin band, and jazz groups across the country.
• She is an adjunct faculty for violin and chamber music at the Benedictine University in Illinois.