Yoko Reikano Kimura, Koto

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Yoko Reikano Kimura (koto/shamisen/voice)

Koto/shamisen performer and singer, Yoko Reikano Kimura has concertized around the world. For her koto playing, she was touted as “beautiful” and “genuinely talented” by Hogaku no Tomo (Japan). The New York Times described her shamisen playing and singing as “superb”. She graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts and Music and continued her studies at the NHK School for Young Professionals and the Institute of Traditional Japanese Music. Yoko received a scholarship from the Agency of Culture Affairs of Japan. Her teachers include Kono Kameyama (Yamada school), Akiko Nishigata (contemporary shamisen music), and a Living National Treasure, Senko Yamabiko (Kato-bushi shamisen). Yoko received her stage name "Reikano" from Hiroko Nakanoshima VI and “Reiko Yamabiko” for her Kato-bushi shamisen playing. She is continuing her performances in Japan and holds a teaching position at the Institute of Traditional Japanese Music, an affiliate of Senzoku Gakuen College of Music. Yoko has won numerous awards including the First Prize at the prestigious 10th Kenjun Memorial National Koto Competition as the first Yamada school player. Yoko won the Debut Concert Audition at Toppan Hall, Tokyo and received the First Prize and the Osaka Chinese Counsel's Award at the Great Wall International Music Competition. She won the Japanese music audition for NHK FM radio. In 2004 she performed a shamisen concerto at the National Olympic Memorial Center. In 2011 she was awarded the Janet Latz Professional Fellowship with her husband, Hikaru Tamaki. In 2013-14 Yoko collaborated with the Cassatt Quartet, the Freimann Quartet and performed the Koto Concerto: Genji with the Champaign-Urbana based Prairie Ensemble under the baton of Kevin Kelly. As a koto/ shamisen soloist and collaborator, Yoko has performed with many well-known traditional Japanese performers and worked with such artists/musicians as Heiner Goebbels, the Wien Solisten Trio, Kyo-Shin-An Arts, the Ciompi Quartet, the Euclid Quartet, Kenny Endo and Yasuko Yokoshi. Since 2004, Yoko has performed in such places as Poland, Switzerland, France, Lithuania, Korea, China, Israel, Qatar, Italy, Turkey and South America.