YOKOHAMA MUSIC FESTIVAL  (YOKOHAMA OTOMATSURI) 2016

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YOKOHAMA MUSIC FESTIVAL  (YOKOHAMA OTOMATSURI) 2016

YOKOHAMA MUSIC FESTIVAL (YOKOHAMA OTOMATSURI) 2016 (9/22 - 11/27)

Ooko Arai

Starting this September, all of Yokohama becomes the stage for a major music festival, Yokohama Otomatsuri 2016--YOKO OTO. The first festival was held in 2013. This, the second, returns with the theme "Super Universal," aiming to fill the city of Yokohama with music that transcends generation, gender, and genre, music that thrills everyone. During the festival, Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall looks forward to your joining us for orchestra, ballet, opera, and piano performances.

Interview with Yokohama Otomatsuri Director Ooko Arai.

We asked festival director Ooko Arai what she hoped to achieve in this year's Yokohama Otomatsuri and to talk about performances that we should keep an eye out for. (Interviewer: Arisa Iida)

The theme of Yokohama Otomatsuri 2016 is "Super Universal." What kind of music is that?
Yokohama is famous as the port through which foreign cultures first entered Japan. Its history demonstrates the amazing receptivity of the people who live in this city. A music festival that suits this receptive, diverse city cannot be confined to a single genre. It must engage all sorts of people, regardless of age, nationality, gender, or disability.

The "Universal" in our "Super Universal" theme implies that this will be music that speaks to everyone. In YOKO OTO 2016, we want to create a festival that embodies the generous, robust essence of Yokohama, a festival everyone can enjoy. The performances will include classical music, pop, jazz by veterans and by young artists, famous pop groups, and musicians who live in Yokohama. The venues will not be confined to Minato Mirai Hall and other concert halls and theaters. The festival will spread to elementary and middle-school classrooms and the streets of Minato Mirai. The whole city will be filled with music.
A festival lasting two months is a very big festival, indeed. Are there especially notable performances that we should be looking forward to?
At the opening on September 22, Koji Tamaki will perform with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. In recent years, Tamaki has collaborated with orchestras in deeply moving concerts. The orchestra is not reduced to an accompaniment for the songs. Instead, Tamaki's hits are performed in authentically orchestral arrangements.

For the Orchestral Ballet on October 29, the lineup is truly spectacular. The conductor is Hiroshi Aoshima. The young dancers are students of Tetsuya Kumakawa. The narrator is Koji Yamamoto. The story he will narrate, the tale of Swan Lake, is one that I wrote in 1995 and has been performed numerous times. For this performance, however, it will be accompanied by mime for the first time.

For Music in the Dark: The Disabled and the Arts in Yokohama, on November 3, a string ensemble with visually handicapped members will perform. Other not-to-be-missed events include the "Short Film and Concert" collaborations between Bessho Tetsuya and Kazune Shimizu in all eighteen Yokohama wards and performance by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie directed by Paavo Järvi, with Daishin Kashimoto on violin, on November 27.

YOKOHAMA MUSIC FESTIVAL  (YOKOHAMA OTOMATSURI) 2016 poster

This breadth of offerings was made possible by your wide experience in organizing TV music programs and concerts.
The Yokohama Otomatsuri, inspired by the opportunities presented by 2020, has taken the lead among culture and arts programs in Japan. We continue to believe that music has an important contribution to make in relations between people and between people and society. The talents displayed by musicians in their performances transcend national and ethnic boundaries. That is the kind of festival we want ours to be.
Ooko Arai
Graduated in music theory and performance from Tokyo University of the Arts. Produced the 1998 NHK music education program Wagamama Orchestra, nominated for an International Emmy. Arai was responsible for coordinating Untitled Concerts and other music programs for television and is now a special project professor at Tokyo University of the Arts and a visiting professor at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music.

YOKOHAMA MUSIC FESTIVAL  (YOKOHAMA OTOMATSURI) 2016

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