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Katō Kuniko (marimba)

Katō Kuniko (marimba)

Time: 04.06.18  18:00–20:00
Location: Kumu auditorium
Price: 12.-/8.- €

Kuniko Katō studied under the legendary marimba player Keiko Abe at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan and advanced her studies under Robert Van Sice at Rotterdam Conservatorium in the Netherlands. She graduated with the highest honour (summa cum laude) as the first percussionist in the institution’s history. After graduation she was based in Europe for over ten years,  currently resides in U.S.A. In 1996 she won the prestigious Kranichsteiner Musikpreis from the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt and second prize at the International Leigh Howard Stevens Marimba competition in 1996. Kuniko continues to perform and collaborate with internationally renowned composers, conductors and orchestras including Franco Donatoni, James Wood, Toru Takemitsu, Iannis Xenakis, Seiji Ozawa, Steve Reich, Unsuk Chin and Arvo Pärt. In 1997, Kuniko recorded James Wood’s Marimba Concerto in London where her performance was highly complimented by the BBC. In 1999, Kuniko released her first solo album To The Earth.

Career highlights for Kuniko include the Japanese premiere of the music theatre production of The Pure Land (Jodo) in 2005 by James Wood. Kuniko’s critically acclaimed CD ‘kuniko plays reich’ was released on Linn Records in 2011 and was their best-selling album of the year. ‘In 2013 she collaborated with Arvo Pärt and released the CD ’Cantus’ that won several awards and received favourable reviews from music critics. In 2013, she received the highly acclaimed Keizo Saji Award from Suntory Arts Foundations. Kuniko’s fourth solo album  ’J.S. Bach – Solo Works for Marimba’ released in 2017 was recorded in Tartu Jaani Church .

In addition to her solo performances in Asia, Europe and the United States, Kuniko has been a member of various orchestras and chamber groups such as the Saito Kinen Orchestra (Japan), Ensemble ICTUS (Belgium) and Ensemble NOMAD (Tokyo, Japan). An extremely versatile musician, Kuniko has been actively involved in various creative art scenes and has collaborated with prominent artists including Netherlands Dance Theatre dancer Megumi Nakamura, theatre director Satoshi Miyagi, Makoto Hirayama and Za Ondekoza, a Japanese taiko drumming group. Kuniko is strongly committed to music education through percussion workshops and master classes all over the world, and participates in non-profit activities



18:00  KUMU auditorium


The Well-Tempered Clavier BOOK l

No.1 Prelude in C major BWV 846


Six Marimbas counterpoint (1986/2010)


Cello Suite No.1 G major BWV 1007



New York Counterpoint (1985/2012)

version for marimba (arr. Kuniko)



Prelude in C minor BWV 999


Violin Sonata No.1 in G minor BWV 1001


Fuga (lautole / for lute) BVW 1000



ARVO PÄRT (1935)

Fratres (1977/2012)

for marimba & vibraphone (arr. Kuniko)


Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten (1977/2012)

for marimba (arr.kuniko)


Spiegel im Spiegel (1978/2012)

for marimba & bells (arr. Kuniko)

Sound design :Yuji Sagae



Organizers: Ars Orientalis, Kuniko Kato Art Projects, Kumu Art Museum

Supporters: Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan, Adams Musical Instruments



Additional information:

Taimi Paves

MTÜ Ars Orientalis

Mob: 56673448