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Okamoto to Perform Koto Lecture-Recital
11.21.12 |
Kyoko Okamoto will host a traditional Japanese music lecture-recital on Monday, Nov. 26 at 4 p.m. in the Zimmerman Recital Hall of the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery at Lebanon Valley College. Admission is free and open to the public.

Okamoto performs on the koto, a long zither with 13 strings that are plucked with ivory picks. The koto originated in China in 200 B.C. and made its way to Japan by the eighth century.

Okamoto is a native of Japan who has performed and taught the koto in the Washington D.C. area for 39 years. She was trained in Japan under koto master Kazue Ehara of Ashiya, and is ranked teacher of koto of the Ikuta School.

Okamoto founded the Washington Toho Koto Society in 1971, an organization dedicated to fostering understanding and appreciation of Japanese koto music. The group now has over 100 members and actively performs at schools, churches, clubs, museums, and national and international events. In 2003, the society was recognized by the foreign minister of Japan, Yoriko Kawaguchi, in honor of more than 30 years of spreading Japanese music in the U.S. and promoting friendship between the two countries.

An applied faculty member of the University of Maryland and George Mason University, Okamoto has performed extensively, including for the Bicentennial Concert Series and the inaugural concerts of U.S. Presidents Carter and Reagan. She played background music for the films "Art of Hyogushi" and "Pacific Bridge," and has appeared on television as part of the National Symphony Orchestra's "Music in Harmony" series. She has produced seven albums.

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