Ryogoku Art Festival 2015 – Director: Satoko Inoue (English information)

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From this year onwards, Ryogoku Monten Hall Installs two pianos in summer.

A music festival newly starts in Ryogoku, old town of Tokyo.

Having Satoko Inoue, one of the leading pianists in contemporary music in Japan, as the artistic director, Ryogoku Monten Hall holds three concerts featuring two grand pianos in a small space with no more than 50 seats. “Concert Series: Two Pianos in Ryogoku” contains two concerts consisting of works by composers from different generations and countries. In addition, Jill Richards from the Republic of South Africa gives a challenging performance of the “Concord Sonata”, an epic work by Charles Ives.

As a related program to the festival, “Summer Academy” is also scheduled with prestigious faculty including AkiraWakabayashi (piano) and Rieko Suzuki (violin).

Why don’t you listening to and experiencing music of the “now” beyond generations and countries in the familiar, compact space?


[Program A]

Two Pianos in Ryogoku: with Jill Richards

Fri July 31 at 7pm. , Sat August 1 at  5pm. , Sun August 2 at 5pm

 Along with piano pieces including new works by Japanese front-line composers, this concert introduces works by South African composers, such as the distinguished K. Volans, R. Fokkens from the post- apartheid generation, and A. Khumalo from the younger generation.

Piano: Jill Richards, Satoko Inoue


Kevin Volans: Cicada for 2pf. (1994)

Robert Fokkens: Five Miniatures for pf. (2007) J.P.

Andile Khumalo: Schau-fe(r)-sterII for pf. (2014) J.P.

Yuji Itoh : Itsuwarinaki Kokoro II for pf. 4hands (2015) W.P.

Toshiya Watanabe: A Still Life for 2pf. (2015) W.P.

Tomoko Momiyama: Where Little Foot Sleeps for 2 prepared pianos (2015) W.P.



[Program B]

Jill Richards plays “Concord Sonata”

Mon August 3 at 7pm

Jill Richards plays a massive, 50-minute piano solo work in four movements by C. Ives, pioneer in American contemporary music.


Charles Ives: Piano Sonata No.2, Concord, Mass., 1840-60 (1909-15)



[Program C]

Two Pianos and Young Composers from Asia

Mon August 10 at 7pm, Tue August 11 at 7pm, Wed August 12 at 7pm

The two pre-eminent pianists present various piano music including world premieres by young composers from Asia among others.

Piano: Akiko Fujita, Satoko Inoue


Hyejin Jun: Lines and the Sea 2pf. (2015) W.P.

Yohan Kim: La similaritè pour deux pianos et deux corps (2015) W.P.

Siraseth Pantura-umporn: Abstract Particles Ⅰ for 2pf.(2014-15)W.P.

Matius Shanboone: 5 Character Pieces for pf. (2008) J.P.

Asuka Imai: Ninotchka for pf. (2014)

Tetsuya Yamamoto: Woven Seasons for prep-pf. 4hands (2012)

Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea: Nocturniana for 2pf.(2010)J.P.

Lois V Vierk: Spin 2 for 2pf. (1995)



[Ticket] *All free seating/ tax included

Ticket (by performance): 3,000 yen/ student 2,500 yen (advance)

3,500 yen/ student 3,000 yen (at the door)

Festival Pass (valid for all the three programs): 7,500 yen


[Booking/ Contact] Ryogoku Monten Hall

Email: ticket@monten.jp

Tel &FAX: 03-6666-9491

*House-open 30 minutes before

*To receive student discount, student ID card is required to be shown at the door.

*Children under 6 are not permitted.





Musicians living in the contemporary world always seek and explore various musical shapes through contemplation. It goes without saying that our musical activities cannot exist without the continuous willingness of both the makers (musicians) and bearers (producers, such as concert halls), as well as sympathy with the audience. Like Ryogoku Monten Hall, places and opportunities where not only anything can be tried, but also those challenges can be pursued, are essential for genuinely creative musicians, especially younger ones. It is because the arts and culture, both today and in the future, depend on whether those musicians in younger generations can perform to their potentials.
And now, this summer, we launch “Ryogoku Art Festival”. From this year onwards, Ryogoku Monten Hall will install one more piano during summer. We have scheduled two concerts where two pianos are to be used, and one solo concert for this first festival. As I have invited a number of composers and players from abroad, so has this festival.
Firstly, we have invited Jill Richards from South Africa. In collaboration with her, I will give a concert consisting of works by South African and Japanese composers, and we will play such works that we usually do not have much opportunity to listen to. Jill and I met at “3KlangTage Zug”, a concert held in Zug, Switzerland in the spring of 2013. At that time, each of us held a solo recital, and I was impressed by her performance of “Concord Sonata” by Charles Ives. In addition to our concert together, we will have the pleasure of her playing the sonata on another evening as a solo concert. Speaking of South Africa, while political issues there recently hit the headlines again, the people continue on day to day, and musicians make their way without flinching. I imagine they should have faced so many difficulties beyond our understanding. All the more, we will feel invigorated by the works by Kevin Volans, Robert Fokkens and Andie Khumalo as well as Jill’s performance. Tomoko Momiyama, one of the composers I commissioned for my concert with Jill, works all over the world. A few years ago, she collaborated with Jill in Johannesburg. This led us to work with her, and she wrote a new piece for us for this occasion. We will also play two other new works from Japan, by Toshiya Watanabe and Yuji Itoh, both of whom have had remarkable achievements in recent years. I believe the audience will revel in the various repertoires of piano works: in piano duo, piano four hands, and solo.
There is another concert with Akiko Fujita, a pianist I put great trust in.  It focuses on young Asian composers, and we will play music by various young composers: from Siraseth Pantura-umporn from Thailand, who has already built a considerable career; to Yohan Kim, who is still a student. We will also play works by Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea from Bucharest and Lois V. Vierk from New York. They are both experienced female composers. I hope you also enjoy their more mature music, along with the vigorous music of the younger composers.


Satoko Inoue

Artistic Director of Ryogoku Art Festival 2015




Organizer: Monten, Inc.

Planning/Cooperation: nothing but music

Grants: Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Asahi Group Arts Foundation

Co-sponsor: Yamaishiya Yokin Kobo, Inc.




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