Harpsichord and Violin
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
• 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
• 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.
• 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.