Marshall to host traditional Japanese music with free recital

Marshall University’s Department of Modern Languages will present a Koto and Flute Recital at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 19, in Smith Music Hall 133 on Marshall’s Huntington campus. Masayo Ishigure and student Tomomi Takamoto will perform on koto, while Marshall’s Dr. Wendell Dobbs will perform on flute.

Koto, a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument originating from China, has 13 strings and movable bridges called “ji,” which are used to produce various tunings. The body of the instrument is made of paulownia wood and is over 6 feet long.

“Masayo Ishigure performed at Marshall in 2008 and we were all impressed with her dynamic performance,” said Dr. Natsuki Fukunaga Anderson of Marshall’s Japanese program. “It was incredible to see her collaboration with a Marshall faculty member, Professor Wendell Dobbs. Dobbs’ flute and Ishigure’s koto brought an audience to the world of Japanese music that is both traditional yet new.”

Ishigure received a degree in Japanese Traditional Music from Takasaki Junior Arts College with a concentration on koto and shamisen in 1988. In 2005, she was a recording artist alongside Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and others on the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack from the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha,” by John Williams.

The recital is free and open to the pubic. The event is co-organized by the Consulate General of Japan in New York, Marshall’s School of Music and Theatre and the Japanese program in the Department of Modern Languages at the university.


Photo: Masayo Ishigure, a musician trained on koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument, will perform with a student and Marshall’s Dr. Wendell Dobbs in a free recital on Marshall’s Huntington campus March 19.