CD Review Sumire Kuwajima
On hearing the elegant selection Variations on a Mozart theme by Glinka, you will understand that no one can play it so beautifully. Tomoko’s harp seems to be part of her body and she can make it sing just as she wishes. Her sincere enjoyment of the sounds allows the audience to imagine the world as she sees it. Her warm nature, artistic quality and prodigious talent give her listeners a relaxed, heartwarming feeling.
Harpist and Professor of Tokyo University of the Arts (1935 - 2005)
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Tomoko Sugawara began playing the Irish Harp at age twelve, added the Concert Harp at sixteen, and graduated (BSc) in harp at Tokyo University of the Arts. She studied cultural history at Seijo University in Tokyo. Since 1991 She plays the kugo (chang).
After moving to NYC, Tomoko learned to read and play Figured Bass, add ornaments, and play all on the Baroque Harp.
Main awards are: Japan Foundation (1999 and 2008), Asian Cultural Council (2007-2008, 2014 and 2018-2019), the Dunhuang Foundation (2019).
Tomoko has given solo recitals on the kugo at major international venues, such as The World Music Institute, and World Harp Congresses in Prague, Amsterdam, and Vancouver. Other places include The Early Music Guild of Seattle, The British Museum, Central China Conservatory of Music (Beijing), Symposium on historical Harps in Berlin, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and many Universities: Columbia, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Illinois and Indiana. She also led my band, Eurasia Consort, at The World Music Institute concert (New York City).
Tomoko just finished a visiting researcher position at Shanghai Conservatory of Music. My project was the revival of Tang Dynasty music. During this trip She also went to Dunhuang, North West China, which has many painted caves showing Buddhist imagery. There she studied ancient Chinese instruments and ensembles played between the 6thand 11th centuries.