The Music Program of the University at Albany’s Department of Music and Theatre is pleased to present guest pianist Akina Yura on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 7pm at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus. In combining the Romantic era with Japanese masterworks, the concert program will introduce the works of Japanese composer Mutsuo Shishido (1929-2007) and explore the music that influenced him.  It will also include Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor by Frederic Chopin.

Akina Yura is a Japanese pianist and expert in 20th and 21st century Japanese music.  A Presser award recipient from the Frost School of Music at University of Miami, Yura has extensively researched the works of Mutsuo Shishido and has performed them around the globe. Her debut CD “Mutsuo Shishido: Complete Works for Piano” was recently published by MSR Classics.

Shishido is a Japanese classical composer who emerged during the post-WWII period. A contemporary of Toru Takemitsu, Shishido believed that music should adhere to humanistic expression approachable to all people while maintaining a national identity. Taking inspiration and elements from local melodies and festival music and manipulating it with Western contemporary techniques, he imbued his music with a Japanese identity while keeping it universally accessible.  Having lived both in his home country and Paris, all of his work shows strong influences of his bi-cultural identity synthesizing Western and Eastern traditions.

Yura will perform three of Shishido’s works: “Suite Dance pour Piano” which uses Japanese traditional modes and imitates traditional Japanese instruments, “Suite Pour le Clavier” which references Japanese religious meditation as well as taiko from Shinto festivals and Piano Sonata No.2 from 1968.  A selection of piano works by Shishido’s teachers, Olivier Messiaen and André Jolivet, will also be performed allowing the audience to explore the contemporary musical language of the early 20th century from France.

Tickets are $8 for the general public and $4 for students, seniors & UAlbany faculty/staff and may be purchased through the Performing Arts Center Box Office. For further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.