The Tale of Genji: A Musical Narrative

Sunday, March 24, 2019, 2 PM

Featuring violinist Ikuko Kawai

Follow Japan’s famous Tale of Genji in this original interpretation for violin, keyboard, and traditional Japanese instruments, led by popular violinist and composer Ikuko Kawai. Surtitles will allow the audience to follow the narration in English. The original Tale of Genji was written in the eleventh century by a woman in the Japanese royal court and recounts the life of Hikaru Genji, the Shining Prince. The author also created hundreds of other characters for this work, often called the world’s first novel. Japanese artworks—including screens, paintings, and illustrated books—depicting scenes from the story are currently on display in the Freer.

Kawai made her US debut at Carnegie Hall in 2008 and her European premiere in 2015 at the Paris Opera. Her virtuoso compositions are familiar to international figure-skating fans, especially Red Violin, used by American gold medalist Michelle Kwan. At this performance she will be accompanied by Tomoka Nagasu on biwa and shakuhachi, Miho Yoshiba on koto, Toshihiko Kato on nohkan and tsuzumi (percussion), and Hisanobu Notsu on keyboard.

Image courtesy of the artist

  • Venue: Freer Gallery of Art
  • Event Location: Freer, Meyer Auditorium
  • Cost: Tickets: $6 in advance (pick your seats); remaining tickets free at the door