Instrument/Discipline: Koto, Shamisen
Ha/Kai (流派/会): Ikuta-ryū
Professional Name (芸名): Masayo Ishigure
Do you teach? Yes
Do you perform? Yes
Masayo Ishigure, from Gifu, Japan, began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five. After initial studies with Tadao and Kazue Sawai she became a special research student in 1986 at the Sawai Koto Academy of Music. The aim of the academy was to shed new light on koto music by incorporating everything from Bach to jazz and thus change the koto from being thought of only as a traditional Japanese instrument into an instrument of universal expressiveness. Later, Ms. Ishigure became one of a small group of virtuoso disciples of the Sawais and successfully completed the 33rd Ikusei-kai program sponsored by NHK to foster and train aspiring artists in Japanese music. Since arriving in New York City in 1992, Ms. Ishigure has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, many prestigious colleges and universities, and in festivals around the world. She recorded music for the soundtrack of Memoirs of a Geisha by John Williams along with Yitzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, and others. She has 2 CDs: her solo CD Grace, and another with East Wind Ensemble featuring Hayao Miyazaki's animation songs arranged for koto and shakuhachi.