University of Iowa News Release
March 17, 2006
Marimba Player Presents Guest Recital At The UI March 27
Keiko Kotoku, a Japanese-born marimba player currently living in Sweden, will present a free recital at 8 p.m. Monday, March 27, in Harper Hall of the University of Iowa Voxman Music Building.
Kotoku appears on the UI campus as a guest of the percussion area of the UI School of Music.
"She is a young and very energetic performer and I know our Iowa City audience will love her," Dan Moore, head of the percussion area in the UI School of Music, said. "I first met Keiko and heard her play in Argentina at the Patagonia Percussion Festival. She gave an awe-inspiring concert there. When she told me she would be traveling in the United States this year I jumped at the chance to have her play here at Iowa."
Kotoku's program in Iowa City will include two of her own works, "Per ett" and "Mikan-san." She will also play Minuets by Marcus Strom, "Double Exposure" by Daniel Saur and "Libertango" by Astor Piazzolla.
Kotoku began playing marimba and piano as a child. Born and raised in Japan, she received an undergraduate degree in percussion performance from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and a master's degree from the Pitea Musikhogskolan (music conservatory) in Sweden. She also studied for the academic year 2002-03 at the Boston Conservatory, where she performed Keiko Abe's "Prism Rhapsody" at Boston's Faneuil Hall as winner of the conservatory's concerto competition.
Kotoku received second prize at the 2001 Belgium International Marimba Competition and presented a showcase recital at the 2004 Belgium competition. She has also performed in Argentina, Paris, the United States, and throughout Japan and Sweden.
In 2004 Kotoku released her debut recording, "Decisions," which includes her own compositions as well as Anders Astrand's "Decisions," which is dedicated to Kotoku. Kotoku composed the title track for her second album, "Gaku," based on the stories of Hiroshima's atomic bombing as told to her by her grandfather. The work was so well received that Kotoku performed a summer tour featuring the piece to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.
With Global Percussion Network members Daniel Saur and Rolf Landberg, Kotoku presented performances of "Gaku" in Hiroshima, Takarazuka and Tokyo. The Tokyo concert took place on Aug. 6, the anniversary day of the bombing, in Tokyo FM Hall, and was sponsored by Tokyo FM Radio. In January and February 2006, Kotoku performed this work at concert for a United Nations gathering in Sweden.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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