PREEMINENT JAPANESE SHAMISEN PLAYERS TO PERFORM AT CLARK ART INSTITUTE

For Immediate Release
 
October 30, 2014
 
Williamstown, MA—The East Coast tour of A Salute to Tradition, featuring Japan’s preeminent shamisen players, comes to the Clark Art Institute on Saturday, November 22. Shamisen player Fujii Hirokazu performs a free twenty-minute piece in the Kyushu regional jiuta style at 10:30 am; at 5 pm, two traditional shamisen musical styles—nagauta and gidayu—are performed by chanters, shamisen players, and a traditional nihon buyo dancer. The morning performance is free; tickets to the 5 pm performance are $15. Tickets are available at clarkart.edu or by calling 413 458 0524.

The shamisen is a three-stringed instrument originally from China that reached Japan in the sixteenth century, where it underwent changes in shape, size, and sound. The shamisen became a central element in Japan's unique performing arts and entertainment culture, featured in kabuki and bunraku theaters, salon, folk and vaudeville music, and more. The shamisen has been at the center of art and entertainment culture in Japan for centuries and continues to shape new spheres in world music.

The 5 pm performance features artists Takemoto Komanosuke (gidayu chanter, considered a living national treasure), Tsuruzawa Yumi aka Tanaka Yumiko (gidayu shamisen), Tsuruzawa Tsugahana (gidayu shamisen), Imafuji Chotatsuro (nagauta shamisen), Kineya Katsujuro (nagauta shamisen), Kineya Mitsuya (nagauta chanter), and Hanayagi Genkuro (nihon buyo traditional dancer).

The East Coast tour of A Salute to Tradition is produced and organized by Japan Society, New York. This program is supported by The Japan Foundation and Arts Council Tokyo and is presented at the Clark with funding from the Scone Foundation.
 
About the Clark
The Clark Art Institute is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
 
The Clark opened its expanded facilities on July 4, 2014, unveiling new and enhanced spaces that accommodate the continued growth of the Institute’s programs. Included in this final stage of the project are the new 42,600-square-foot Clark Center designed by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, expansion and renovation of the original Museum Building and the ongoing renovation of the Manton Research Center by Selldorf Architects, and a sweeping redesign of the grounds by Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture. The first phase of the campus expansion project was completed in 2008 with the opening of the Lunder Center at Stone Hill, a striking conservation and exhibitions facility also designed by Tadao Ando.
 
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20 through October 31, 2014 and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
 
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