Shumei Concert Series

Mieko Takizawa
  EAST/WEST PERSPECTIVES (October 17 & 18, 1998) Internationally acclaimed pianist, Mieko Takizawa, is noted for bringing a uniquely Japanese sensibility to works of the Western repertoire. Ms Takizawa performed works by Debussy, Chopin, Liszt, and Granados, as well as contemporary Japanese compositions. The program also featured the American premiere of "Suishôren" (Curtain of Glass Beads) by contemporary Japanese composer, Sawako Tamaru.  

Angela Teek

David Spear


SONGS AND SOUNDS OF SPRING (May 30, 1999) Vibrant, young talent, Angela Teek celebrated spring with a sextet of musicians performing all new arrangements of Spring-themed instrumentals and songs by Porter, Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Grieg, Hamilton, and others. Among the works featured on the program was a recent composition by the Pasadena Shumei Concert Series' first Artistic Director David Spear (March 1999 - April 2001), entitled "Cherry Blossom Spring."

"Songs and Sounds of Spring" features musicians Joel Derouin, Steve Richards, Steve Carr, Dominic Genova, and Jerry Kalaf under the direction of David Spear. Arthur Hamilton, whose song "Cry Me a River" was included in the program, attended the concert.


Los Angeles Chamber Singers

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN LYRICISM (October 10, 1999) The Los Angeles Chamber Singers, under the direction of Peter Rutenberg, opened the Concert Series' fall season. The program consisted of mid and late 20th century choral music and included works by Aaron Copland, Matthew Harris, Randall Thompson, and Morton Lauridsen, who attended the concert.



Gary Burton, Makoto Ozone

A JAZZ DUET (December 12, 1999) Acclaimed vibraphonist Gary Burton and lead jazz pianist Makoto Ozone teamed up for an interactive and intensely focused dialogue in pure sound. Borrowing rhythms and sonorities of rock music, while maintaining jazz's improvisation and harmonic complexity, Gary Burton is a pioneer of jazz-fusion. His solo album "Alone at Last", recorded at the 1971 Montreux jazz Festival, won a Grammy.

The Art of Improvisation
An Interview with Gary Burton


Eugene Friesen


Eugene Friesen in Concert (April 9, 2000) Eugene Friesen has created a unique voice among the cellists of the world. Accompanying Mr. Friesen were David Spear on piano, Damian Draghici on pan-flute, and musician and composer, John Zeretzke on a variety of instruments.

Of Whales and Cellos 
A review of Eugene Friesen’s Cello Man concert


THE MICHAEL WOLFF & IMPURE THOUGHTS (November 11, 2000) Michael Wolff & Impure Thoughts is referred to as a six-piece acoustic rhythm band featuring tablas, Afro-Cuban percussion, drum set, acoustic bass, saxophone, and acoustic piano.

Thoughts is comprised of musicians Frank Colon (Afro-Cuban percussion), Alex Foster (Saxophone), Victor Jones (Drums), Radal Roy (Tablas), and John B. Williams (Bass).


Michael Lewin
  MICHAEL LEWIN -- PIANO RECITAL (February 11, 2001) Acclaimed for his virtuosity, passion, and intelligence, Michael Lewin has earned an international reputation as one of the most exciting concert pianists of his generation. In this concert, Mr. Lewin played works by Domenico Scarlatti, Serge Prokofiev, Cesar Franck, and Franz Liszt in a concert that featured music evocative of the times and places in which each composition was created.  

In Memoriam - In Hope of Peace October 13, 2001

A concert honoring those who lost their lives and those who lost loved ones in the great tragedy of September 11, 2001. Featured outstanding bass baritone, Richard Taylor sang the songs from Opera arias and Broadway music along with a brilliant soprano, Anita DeSimone. A young American cellist, Matthew Johnson opened this concert. One of his performances was broadcast at KUSC (91.5 FM) on January 20, 2002.

The Shumei Arts Council of America has canceled its originally scheduled concert for October 13, "East/West Perspectives II", featuring pianist Mieko Takizawa. In its place, the Council held this memorial concert dedicated both to the memory of those who perished and to peace within the human family.


Marco Lienhard

"Poeme du Bambou"

The Enchanted Sounds of Shakuhachi & Koto

April 14, 2002

The shakuhachi flutist, Marco Lienhard, joined koto musicians, Masayo Ishigure and Shoko Hikage to create an extraordinary concert of original tonal poems. The combination of these two Japanese instruments, bamboo flute and string instrument is steeped in tradition; but Lienhard's approach to the sounds these instruments make is entirely fresh and new.


Wild in Pasadena

A Special Piano Recital by Earl Wild
Sunday, Novemver 17, 2002, 3pm

"The last of the great Romantic pianists"
"One of the 20th Century's greatest pianists"

These words describe Earl Wild performed at Shumei Hall, Pasadena.

Born in 1915, Mr. Wild has been a legendary figure performing throughout the world for seven decades, and has the singular honor of having performed at the invitation of six Presidents of the United States. " In 1997, he received a GRAMMY award for his brilliant disc devoted entirely to virtuoso piano transcriptions entitled, "Earl Wild - The Romantic Master."

Los Angeles Times Review

An interview with Earl Wild

This concert was supported by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Kawai America Corporation.





March 14, 2004

The Japanese marimbist Makoto Nakura is a musician whose artistry and astonishing virtuosity has a mesmerizing impact on his audiences. His innovative programming of new music and traditional classical repertoire shows brilliantly the versatility and expressive range of the marimba and is a revelation to his listeners. His extraordinary communicative power and poetic musicality is inspirational.

"If there were any doubt that Nakura has potential mass appeal, his encore version of 'Flight of the Bumblebee' gave wing to the notion." - THE WASHINGTON POST

This concert was sponsored by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.



The Greater Symphony of the earth

A Special Solo Performance by Paul Winter

November 14, 2004

Grammy-winning soprano saxophonist and composer Paul Winter is one of the pioneers of world music. In his solo performances he plays music and tells stories from his adventures in the traditional cultures and wilderness areas of six continents, accompanied by recordings of various instruments and notable voices (such as those of wolves, whales, and the "uirapuru" of the Amazon rainforest) from what he calls "the greater symphony of the Earth."


Guest Artist: Koji Nakamura, Japanese Taiko Drummer (Biography)

This concert was sponsored by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.



Ashu's World of the Saxophone

A special duo of saxophone and piano

March 6, 2005

At age 24, Ashu has established his extraordinary ability to communicate with audience in a profoundly personal way through his vividly engaging and moving performance style. While his astonishing virtuosity continues to thrill listeners, his artistry reaches far beyond this demonatrating a unique personality and musical voice. While most people have never heard the saxophone in concert music, Ashu has begun to change this.


Winston Choi (Biography), pianist

This concert was supported by the Kawai America Corporation.

  Sono Miho

A Special Solo Performance by Eugene Friesen

October 23, 2005

Last year, the Grammy-award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen made a special return visit to the Miho Museum in Japan to record his new CD album, "Sono Miho." His chosen setting, the Miho, was designed by celebrated architect I. M. Pei, and is nestled in the mountains above Kyoto, Japan. Every detail of the museum is beautiful to the eye, and the design enhances the impact of the art collection in an inspired way. Mr. Friesen played selections from "Sono Miho," and through his music expressed the sense of wonder and inspiration he felt on his original visit, when he first discovered the Miho Museum.

Guest artist at this presentation was Koji Nakamura, an inspiring Taiko drummer from Japan.


  Carol Neblett in Recital

November 13, 2005

Miss Neblett is a leading soprano with the Metropolitan, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Buenos Aires, Teatro San Carlos (Naples), Salzburg, Hamburg, Covent Garden, La Scala, and virtually every other opera company in the world. Both critics and audiences alike have acclaimed Miss Neblett as a singing star, equally at home in opera, recital, concerts, radio, television, recordings and films. Her exceptional talent has caused critics such as Harold Schonberg of The New York Times to write, "There never was a moment when she was not in vocal or dramatic command."

This concert was sponsored by Kawai America Corporation and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.



  "Rejoice" performed by the Avanti Quartet

A Concert Celebrating the 250th Birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

October 21, 2006

In 2004, the Avanti Quartet was formed with four dedicated professional women of diverse backgrounds. They have each performed in concert venues from Carnegie Hall to Disney Hall, and from China to Canada. Their talent can be heard in the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, the California Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Chamber orchestra, as well as on soundtracks for major motion pictures and TV shows such as "Lost" and "Alias." The program featured a selection of Mozart's pieces celebrating the 250th birthday of one of the greatest composers in human history.

This concert was supported in part by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.




Clyde Montgomery Honorary

Youth Concert

March 24, 2007


This program was made possible through the generous support of
the Ruder & Finn Fund, Inc. and Ceola Montgomery



Gifted young musicians gave a rare performance of classical chamber music outside of their school communities. This unprecedented concert at the Shumei Hall featured some of the best student classical chamber music groups, providing a showcase for the nation’s newest young talent.

Participated musicians: Junior Chamber Music (Laura Ha, violin; Dodam Kim, violin; Carrie Robinson, viola; Jason Kim, cello and Evan Tang, piano), Junior Chamber Music (Doug DeVries, flute; Yeri Kim, cello and Norman Troung, piano), USC (Armen DerKevorkian, violin; Ely Karr, violin; John Stulz, viola and Sheng Zhang, Cello), Paul Wiancko, cello (winner of the Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition), Colburn School (Michael Byerly, clarinet; Soo Ah Kim, violin; Soo Ryun Baek, violin; Hang Su, viola and Yina Tong, cello) and Pegasus Trio (Pauline Yang, piano; Jason Issokson, violin and Tina Guo, cello)





Hide Thunder: Skin Whispers

A Special Concert Featuring Traditional Japanese Instruments

October 14, 2007

The sounds of ancient and modern Japanese drumming both employ instruments constructed of wood and cow skin. Animal skins create a rich, strong, and dynamic sound. When taiko drums are struck, the ‘bachi’ or drumsticks touch not only the surface of the animal skin but also the soul of all living creatures. The shakuhachi provides a different, but equally evocative voice—a melody of sharp winds and soft bird calls complementing the taiko’s booming thunder. Featuring artists were Koji Nakamura, one of the finest taiko drummers, and Marco Lienhard, internationally acclaimed shakuhachi artist. Both artists were former members of Ondekoza, a well known group in Japan that spawned another equally accomplished taiko ensemble called Kodo. The concert included guest performers Yukiko Matsuyama playing the koto, Mike Penny on the shamisen, and Makoto Taiko, a Pasadena-based taiko drumming group.

This concert was supported in part with funds received from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.





Clyde Montgomery Concert 2008

April 13, 2008

The Shumei Arts Council has long been dedicated to providing a musical venue for young people in the greater Los Angeles and Pasadena communities. With this concert, we will provide Shumei Hall in Pasadena as a platform for young musicians pursuing careers in concert music.

Participated musicians: Ivey String Quartet - Colburn School (Jeffrey Myers, violin; Cheryl Kim, violin; Hyo-Joo Uh, viola and James Kang, cello), Junior Chamber Music (Solomon Liang, violin; Sam Bae, cello and Christopher Goodpasture, piano), Jason Issokson, violin, USC (Yi-Ting Chen, violin; Xian Zhuo, cello and Sergei Kuznetsov, piano) and Midnight Winds (Amy Tatum, flute; Alison Lowell, oboe; Andrew Leonard, clarinet; Maciej Flis, bassoon and Kristina Orcutt, french horn)

In this concert, we presented a world premiere piece composed by Stephen Cohn, Emmy Award winning composer, especially commissioned for the Midnight Winds, a woodwind ensemble consist of the students and graduate from the USC Thornton School of Music.

This concert was supported in part with funds received from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Ruder & Finn Fund, Inc. and Ceola Montgomery


Toru Takemitsu Festival

April 25 & 26, 2009

Confronting Silence:
The Music of Toru Takemitsu

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary Season of the Shumei Arts Council

In collaboration with the Southwest Chamber Music & Pacific Asia Museum

For more detailed information



Clyde Montgomery Concert 2010

April 11, 2010


Piano Trio in E minor Op. 67 IV. Allegretto by Dmitri Shostakovich (Junior Chamber Music: Christopher Hunt, violin; Stacy Cho, cello and Ji Min Lee, piano)

Voi che sapete by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Psyche by Emile Paladilhe, So anch'io la virtu magica by Gaetano Donizetti (Lily Ali-Oshatz, soprano accompanied by Cooper Labinger)

Piano Trio No. 2 in Cminor, Op. 66 by Felix Mendelssohn (Colburn School: Qian "Sarah" Yong, piano; Elicia Silverstein, violin and Vardan Gasparyan, cello)

Seven Dances (World premiere) by Stephen Cohn (Stephen Cook, piano)

Fantastic Sur un Theme de Haydn by Marcel Grandjany (Yul Kim, harp)

Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 by Felix Mendelssohn (USC Thornton Scholl of Music: Tien-Hsin "Cindy" Wu, violin; Pauline Yang, piano and Alice Yoo, cello)

This concert was supported in part with funds received from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, Ruder & Finn Fund, Inc. and Ceola Montgomery.




Clyde Montgomery Concert 2011

April 10, 2011


Contrasts I. Verbunkos-Recruiting Dance by Bela Bartok (Junior Chamber Music: Hee Yeon Kim, violin; Scott Operman, clarinet; and Daniel Chenevert, piano)

Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10 by Claude Debussy (USC Thorton School of Music: Rayoung Ahn, violin; Melody Chang, violin; Alejandro Duque, viola; Frederic Rosselet, cello)

Sea Change (World Premiere) by Stephen Cohn (Colburn School: Gina Luciani, flute; Sam Almaguer, clarinet; Beiyao Ji, piano; Allan Steele, cello; Steven Chang, violin)

Tarantella by Franz Liszt (Azusa Pacific University: Shotaro Matsumoto, piano)

Sonatine by Henri Dutilleux (Colburn School: Gina Luciani, flute accompanied by Vivian Fan)

Barcarole in F sharp major, Op. 60 by Frederic Chopin (Colburn School: Beiyao Ji, piano)

L'Horizon chimerique, Op. 118 by Gabriel Faure (University of California, Los Angeles: Ryan Thorn, baritone accompanied by Christopher Lade

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano II. Romanza and III. Allegra con fuoco by Francis Poulenc (Colburn School: Sam Almaguer, clarinet accompanied by Vivian Fan)

This concert was supported in part with funds received from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® Foundation, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts and the Los Angele County Arts Commission.






Clyde Montgomery Concert 2012

April 1, 2012


Trio for Clarinet, Violin and piano I. Andante con dolore, con molto espressione by Aram Khachaturian (Junior Chamber Music: Adam Lefkowitz, violin; Jonathan Galbreath, clarinet; Shanice Aaron, piano)

"Una voce poco fa" from the Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini and "The violin Aria" from The Tales of Hoffman by Jacques Offenbach (University of California, Los Angeles: Leslie Anne Cook accompanied by Nathan Maurer)

String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2 by Felix Mendelssohn (USC Thornton School of Music: Vincent Meklis, violin; Heidi Hatch, violin; Diana Wade, viola; Yoshika Masuda, cello)

American Spring (World Premiere) by Stephen Cohn (Colburn School: Caitlin Kelley, violin; Anna Kolotylina, viola; Natalie Helm, cello), (USC Thornton School of Music: Benjamin Phelps, marimba)

Rondo in G minor, Op. 94 by Antonin Dvorak (Colburn School: Se-Doo Park, cello accompanied by USC Thornton School of Music: Alice Yoo)

Impromptu Op. 142 No. 2 in A flat major by Franz Schubert and Feux d'artifice by Claude Debussy (USC Thornton School of Music: Christopher Goodpasture, piano)

Elegy and Romance by Gabriel Faure (USC Thornton School of Music: Yoshika Masuda, cello accompanied by Henry Gronnier)

Sonata No. 5 for Two Violins I. Allegro ma poco by Jean-Marie Leclair, Caprice Op. 18 No. 3 for Two Violins by Henry Wieniawski, and Caprice Op. 18 No. 4 for Two Violins by Henry Wieniawski (USC Thornton School of Music: Heidi Hatch and Vincent Meklis, violin)

This concert was supported in part with funds recieved from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.


Clyde Montgomery Concert 2013

April 7, 2013


Godfather’s Waltz by Nino Rota (arr. M. Grgic) and Asturias by Isaac Albeniz (arr. A. V. Blain)
Mak Grgic, guitar

Sonata for Clarinet & Piano by Francis Poulenc
I. Allegro Tristamente II. Romanze
Veera Myllyniemi, clarinet, Alice Yoo, piano

Piano Trio No. 3 in G Minor by Robert Schumann
I. Bewegt, Doch Nicht zu Rasch & II. Ziemlich Langsam
Kenneth Liao, violin, BingXia Lu, cello, Hedy Lee, piano

La Valse by Maurice Ravel Somang Jeagal, piano

Awakenings by Stephen Cohn (World Premiere)
Cheryl Kim, violin, Vardan Gasparyan, cello, Laura Kaufman, flute, Joshua Cote, french horn, Stephanie Tang, piano

“Daysie” by Sergei Rachmaninov
“A Dream” by Sergei Rachmaninov
Juliette's Waltz from “Romeo et Juliette” by Charles Gounod
Dianna Newman, soprano & Peter Walsh, piano

Piano Trio in A Minor Op. 50 by Peter Tchaikovsky I. Pezzo Elegiaco - Moderato GaHyun Cho, violin,Han Bin Yoon, cello, Heejung Ju, piano

This concert is supported in part with funds received from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.

Makoto Taiko "Forward" special recital

January 28, 2018

Since 2009, Makoto Taiko has been presenting a successful annual concert series featuring its entire membership of approximately 65 members from all across the Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. These well-attended concerts include traditional taiko compositions as well as new collaborations with highly accomplished guest artists including multi-Grammy Award-winner Paul Winter, Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka of San Francisco Taiko Dojo, and Jason Yang, violinist for Madonna during her MDNA world tour.

In 2016, the ensemble began a project to develop a high-level performance team consisting of the group’s most skilled artists to represent Makoto Taiko at its best. In the “Forward” recital in January, this team took the art form of Japanese taiko drumming to new heights in performance quality and artistic interpretation. This was the first time we were presenting a public event featuring the only best members of Makoto Taiko.