Area concert-goers will have the unique opportunity to a hear a performance featuring a solo percussion instrument 8 p.m. on April 1 in Francis Auditorium, when the award-winning Japanese marimbist Naoko Takada brings her remarkable talents to the Carl Broman Concert Series at Mary Baldwin University.
Takada has performed world-wide at such venues as Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Konzerhaus in Berlin, the Belgium International Marimba Festival, and the Kennedy Center. Her many honors and awards include first prize in the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions, as well as the S & R Washington Award, an honor that supports artists who contribute to cultural understanding between the U.S. and Japan.
She is also well-regarded among her peers, as many highly-acclaimed percussionist/composers have written works for her. She will share several of those pieces with the audience in Staunton, including Five Pieces for Solo Marimba by the award-winning composer Joseph Pereira, who is the principal timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This fascinating piece showcases the many timbres achievable on the marimba. Also on the program is Paul Fowler’s “Michiyuki the Road to Death,” from his 2002 adaptation of Love Suicides at Sonezaki, a traditional Japanese play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Takada explains that the story in this dramatic work is much like Romeo and Juliet and that the performer’s mallets are supposed to represent two lovers. Her wonderfully varied program also includes Chin Cheng Lin’s appealing Tango for Naoko; a choro by Argentinian composer, Augusto Marcellino; a piece by Takada herself; and a compelling transcription of Bach’s great D Minor Chaconne (originally for solo violin).
Tickets for Takada’s concert may be purchased at the door and are $20 for the general public, $15 for seniors, and $5 for students. (Mary Baldwin students, faculty, and staff get in free.) For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit Music at Mary Baldwin.