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Highly Acclaimed Japanese Pianist Aki Takahashi Performs at Bard College

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— The Henry Cowell Experimental Music Fund at Bard College will present a recital by the world-renowned Japanese pianist Aki Takahashi. The program takes place on Wednesday, November 10 at 7 p.m., in Bard Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. For further information, please call (845) 758-7250 or e-mail

Aki Takahashi has been one of the leading exponents of new and experimental music for many years, and composers throughout the world have written pieces expressly for her. These include John Cage, Morton Feldman, Toru Takemitsu, and Iannis Xenakis, all of whom will be represented on the program. Takahashi will also perform Henry Cowell’s gently lyrical “Aeolian Harp,” one of the first pieces written to be played on the inside of the piano, as well as one of Cage’s most dynamic “prepared” piano pieces, in which objects are placed between piano strings to modify the sounds, “The Perilous Night.” In addition, Takahashi will perform a major work written for her by the noted American composer Peter Garland, as well as a short piece by J. S. Bach. In the Garland work, she will be joined briefly by violinist Scot Moore, a student at The Bard College Conservatory of Music.


About Aki Takahashi:


Takahashi made her debut performing music by Japan’s leading composer, Toru Takemitsu, while still a graduate student at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. She held her first public solo recital in 1970 and has regularly appeared around the world since her recitals in 1972 at the Berlin Festival Week and Paris Autumn Festival. Other international venues where she has performed include the Holland Festival, Los Angeles New Music America, Berlin Metamusik, Lincoln Center Festival, The Kennedy Center, ULTIMA Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, and Maerz Musik in Berlin. A series of Erik Satie concerts she presented in Tokyo from 1975 to 1977 heralded the so-called Satie boom in Japan and resulted in her recording eight CDs of all his piano works. She commissioned a number of composers to create works inspired by various Beatles songs. Of the resulting 4-CD set entitled The Hyper Beatles Series (Toshiba EMI), the first album was hailed by the New York Times as “Best CD of 1990.”


The concert is supported by royalties from the estate of long-time Hudson Valley resident, composer Henry Cowell (, often cited as the “godfather” of experimental music in the United States. Cowell’s students included Lou Harrison, George Gershwin, Burt Bacharach, and John Cage, who called him “the open sesame for new music in America.”


Admission is free and open to the public. For further information, please call (845) 758-7250 or e-mail


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October 19, 2010

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This event was last updated on 10-19-2010