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The Pleiades Project and Multi-Cultural Sonic Evolution To Present World of Miyabi: Japanese Woman in Song

The Pleiades Project and Multi-Cultural Sonic Evolution To Present World of Miyabi: Japanese Woman in Song

The Pleiades Project, in collaboration with Multi-Cultural Sonic Evolution, presents World of Miyabi: Japanese Woman in Song on November 21 at 8:00 p.m. as part of the 2019 Sound of Arts Festival. The program explores Japanese poetic genres from women's perspectives through song and recited poetry, including Kiyoshi Nobutoki's settings of waka from Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, Japanese art songs by composers Akane Nakanishi and Makiko Kinoshita, and into the shimmering, Leslie Uyeda's contemporary song cycle with poetry by Joy Kogawa. These musical selections are interwoven with recited haiku, written by prominent female haiku masters from throughout Japanese history.

Miyabi, often translated as elegance, refinement, or courtliness, is a traditional Japanese aesthetic ideal. Miyabi adherents rejected artistic styles that embraced rough or "vulgar" attributes, often pejoratively associated with non-aristocratic society. Miyabi was deemed most accessible to courtiers, who were believed to be refined enough, through their social status, to understand the sensitive, transient depictions of nature and the human experience favored by the style.

In this program, The Pleiades Project attempts to re-contextualize Miyabi. Removed from its classist implications, the music engages with its ideals of elegance, beauty, sensitivity, and intransience to explore Japanese poetry, as well as the musical and literary contributions of Japanese female artists. By particularly highlighting female creators, we hope to create an inclusive and more accurate historical narrative about the creative contributions of Japanese women within these respective fields.

World of Miyabi: Japanese Women in Song features pianist Marina Iwao, and sopranos Aine Hakamatsuka and Manami Hattori. Tickets are $15 in advance/$20 at the door, and are available at

Aine Hakamatsuka

Japanese Soprano Aine Hakamatsuka is the winner of the 2013 Yokohama International Music Competition (Japan) based in New York. She has performed roles including Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Gretel, Dew Fairy (Hansel & Gretel), Lucy (The Telephone), Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Susanna, Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), Nanetta (Falstaff), Silberklang (Der Schauspieldirektor), Lucia (The Rape of Lucretia), and Belinda (Dido & Aeneas).

In concerts, she appeared as a soloist in Paukenmesse (Haydn), Magnificat (Schubert), Requiem (Faure), 9th Symphony (Beethoven), Cantata No. 51 (Bach), and Gloria (Vivaldi). Ms. Hakamatsuka's appearances in New York includes St. Patrick's Cathedral, Queens Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center. Ms. Hakamatsuka received her Master's of Music from Manhattan School of Music and Bachelors of Arts from Kansas Wesleyan University.

Manami Hattori-Fallen is originally from Kobe, Japan, but has made NYC her home. She has recently sung leading opera roles in The US and Canada, including the title role in Madama Butterfly with Mercury Opera. Opera Canada stated, "As Butterfly Japanese -born Manami Hattori-Fallen was captivating...sang wonderfully...". She repeated that role with Opera Lancaster, and the Intelligencer Journal said "Manami Hattori-Fallen is the quintessential Butterfly". She also performed Cio-Cio San in NYC with Amore Opera.

She was also the winner, out of more than 200 Japanese singers, of the International Auditions of The San Francisco Opera Center in Japan, where she won a spot in the coveted Merola Opera Program. While at Merola, she sang in productions of The Elixir of Love, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and the Grand Finals Concert, where she won the Minton B Evans Memorial Award. She is a very active musician in the NY area; she has performed at Carnegie Hall, as well as at Lincoln Center with the NY Philharmonic, NY City Opera, American Symphony Orchestra, Bard Music Festival, and Bard Summerscape.

Marina Iwao

Japanese born pianist, Marina Iwao has appeared on concert stages throughout Japan and the United States as a soloist and collaborative pianist. Performing regular recitals in Boston, New York and Japan, Marina has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, and Across Fukuoka Symphony Hall in Japan. Marina was recently featured on WQXR's McGraw Hill Young Artists Showcase with a cellist, Mina Kim, performing Lucas Foss's Capriccio.

Currently based in New York City, she is a staff pianist at the School for Strings, Kaufman Music Center, the Juilliard School and Mannes College the New School for Music Preparatory Division. She is currently a Master's student in collaborative piano at The Juilliard School studying under Jonathan Feldman.


About The Pleiades Project

Founded in 2015, The Pleiades Project creates new performance opportunities for female artists who wish to express the strength, unique vision, and individuality of their art. Our mission is to promote and develop the work of female-identifying composers, creators, technicians, and performers in order to create a more rich and vibrant world of fine art. More info at

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