Courtroom Concert Program Details

Zeitgeist; Margaret Humphrey, violin; Momoko Tanno, soprano; Asako Hirabayashi, harpsichord; Julie Sweet, piano
Thursday, November 21, noon
Courtroom 317, Landmark Center

Asako Hirabayashki

Composer and harpsichordist, Asako Hirabayashi’s first recording on Albany Label, whose program is entirely composed and played by herself, was selected as one of the 5 best classical CDs of the year 2010 by Minneapolis Star Tribune. It was described as “A superb player, is also a gifted creator of music” (The Diapason, 2010),“A strong case for her instrument’s third-millennium credentials…the best harpsichordist. A delight!”(Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2010),“Twenty-four tracks of passionate, sparkling, lyrical, even poignant music to help secure the harpsichord’s presence in the new millennium.” (Fanfare, 2010) “…charming, unreservedly melodic, poignant and lighthearted”(American Record Guild, 2010) “ Her contemporary harpsichord music is ingenious, fanciful, diverse and unpretentious… I admit I’ve never been a fan of the harpsichord, she has changed all that for me and awakened me to the idea that a composer can reinvent an instrument…” (Fanfare, 2010)“ “With stylistic influences from her native country, American jazz, French Impressionism, and Latin and South American rhythms and sensibilities, Asako Hirabayashi brings us enticing music and outstanding performances on this impressive recording. (International Alliance for Women in Music, 2011)

As a harpsichordist, she has been described by The Music Connoisseur as “an impressive talent, brilliant,” and by The New York Concert Review as “a gifted harpsichordist with genuine… refined sensibilities for phrasing, dynamic gradations and nuanced tonal beauty”. She has appeared as a guest featured soloist in international festivals and music series worldwide, including her New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall, the Boston Early Music Festival, the International Bach Festival in Ukraine, the International Contemporary Music Festival “Contrasts” in Ukraine, the Festival Musicale delle Nazioni in Rome, Italy, the concert series at Palais du Pharo in Marseille, France, the Bach Society of Minnesota, the Schubert Club Concert Series, Handel House Concert Series in London, Solo recital at Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland etc. She made St.Paul Chamber Orchestra debut in fall of 2013. She won numerous grants and awards including the 2009 -10 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, 2012 Artist Initiative grant, the Irene Diamond Scholarship from the Juilliard School, and the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions. Her performances have been broadcast worldwide and she appeared as a guest solo performer on A Prairie Home Companion in 2009.

As a composer, she won several first prizes at international composition competitions, such as the Alienor International Harpsichord Composition Competition and NHK International Song Writing Competition in Japan, and awarded Jerome Fund for New Music to write an opera and Subito grant for recording from American Composers `Forum. She has won the 6th, 7th 8th Alienor consecutively. She was recently awarded 2014 Artist Initiative grant. Her works have been published by Skyline publications Inc. and Tundradogs Music Publishing Inc. and have been performed worldwide. She holds Doctoral degree from the Juilliard School.

Program: Music of Asako Hirabayashi

Prelude, from Yukionna (Snow Witch)
“Hyozan,” (Ice Mountain) from Yukionna
“For Cléa”
“Al que ingrate me deja, Busco Amante”
Scene of Snow God, from Yukionna
“Ketsubetsu” (Farewell), from Yukionna
“Shinrei” (Spirits of the Forest) world premiere
Father’s death scene, from Yukionna