Skip to menu
Site map

Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex

An Unincorporated Association

Patron:
Kyoko Gledhill

Honorary Patrons:
Yukiko Shinohara, George Logan (Dr Evadne Hinge), Alexander Rosenblatt, Kotono Sato (BMus(Hon), MMus, Dip. RAM, LRAM), Professor Gordon Fergus-Thompson (FRCM), Shakti, Michael Soumei Coxall

Director:
Godfrey King

Advisors:
Shakti, Jackie Wright, Kotono Sato, Yukiko Shinohara, Kazue Yanagida

Legal Advisor:
Lester Kan (see Lester Dominic contact details below)

Web Site:
Phil Ronan, Steve Rice

Established 1996

Legal advice

Our official legal advisors are Lester Dominic Solicitors.

Members and associates are entitled to a free consultation across the range of Lester Dominic’s services including immigration related matters. (Contact the society for qualification procedures.)

Special Features

Pascal's Triangle

Click to play video

Carol I Need You (click to play video)

See Pascal's Triangle feature on our Audio and Video Archive page.

Musician's Chapel Dedication

See the Musicians Chapel dedication January 2nd, 1955 on our Events page.

What we do

Since 1996, the Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex has been promoting Japanese culture and Japanese artists in events throughout the Wessex region (which extends from the south west of England as far as Southwark in London).

We aim to further mutual awareness through the promotion and organising of our own events and of others including helping to provide information linking members and the public with other organizations sharing the same ideals. We represent a number of Japanese and Japanese orientated entertainers and cultural presenters for the theatre, festivals and clubs, and cultural presenters for educational establishments etc. We seek to serve all aspects of Anglo-Japanese affairs in the region and beyond, and welcome your enquiries. We are a voluntary organization and all funds raised go into society funds. Corporate, Arts organizations, and individual funding will be welcome as well as membership enquiries.

Now in our 17th year, we have taken part in many memorable events that can be found in our events archive.

Since the move to London in 2004 the AJSW has organized several hundred concerts in London alone. Currently our Wednesday lunchtime concerts at St. Sepulchre, the Musicians Church on Holborn Viaduct (near St. Pauls Cathedral) frequently feature Japanese musicians who are some of the cream of Japanese classical young musicians visiting or residing in the UK bringing wonderful memories of great concerts and fond friendships.These concerts also involve musicians from all over the world.

In more recent years we have developed our own groups featuring musicians who have played recitals for us with the piano groups '4Tune' (4 hands on 2 piano), 'Inzpir8tion' (8 hands on 2 pianos) and the 'AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble' as well as the traditional Japanese music and instrument group 'The Anglo-Japanese Collective'.

We also help to arrange cultural presentations by Japanese performers and cultural events for organisations including corporate functions. Our growing links enable us to organise almost everything Japanese.

Welcome

UPCOMING EVENTS

Stefan Warzycki - Bristol Cathedral - September 16th 1.15 - 2.00pm

Stefan Warzycki

Stefan is playing a left-hand recital programme of interesting and uplifting music of the highest calibre that demands quite exceptional resources of skill and musicianship to achieve a result which it is hard to believe can be produced using one hand alone.

Click here for detailed event information and biography.


PREVIOUS SHOWCASE EVENTS

(Click on image for PDF)

To hear live in concert recordings of our 'AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble' press arrow below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Event sponsors (click logo to go to website):

Click here for detailed event information.

See our advertisement in the latest issue of the Eikoku News Digest.

Also see the National Musicians' Church - St Sepulchre-without-Newgate article from the National Churches Trust.

Katya Lazareva (viola) Ayako Yamazaki (violin) perform with the AJSW CME on July 18th. Here they are playing the Allegro from Bohuslav Martinu's 3 Madrigals for Violin and Viola H.313 at St. Peter's Church Notting Hill on the evening of 24th October 2013.

Click to play video

Katya's album 'The Expressive Viola' was released in October. More details at www.katyalazareva.com.

Martinu Madrigal by Katya Lazareva, Ayako Yamazaki (click to play video)


At The Forge & Foundry, Camden - March 19th 7.30

(for programme information click on picture)

Yukiko Shinohara and Jung Yoon Cho are featured in our Christmas composite

AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble - St. George's - February 20th 1.10 - 2.00pm

(for programme information click on picture)

Aiki & Asa Mori - St George's - February 13th 1.00 - 2.00pm

(for programme information click on picture)

Here is Aiki playing Saint-Saens' 'The Swan' at St George's for our 15th Anniversary concert there November 10th 2011 backed by our AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble (live recording)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Our regular Lunch Concert venue in London is St Sepulchre (the Musicians Church - see its Musicians Chapel dedication in 1955 on the BBC newsreel on our Events Page)

We have appeared regularly for some years now at two venues in Bristol....St George's International Concert Venue and Bristol Cathedral. For either venue see our Events Page. Future St George's concerts are featured above.

Appreciating 2013

Thank you to all our audiences and venues for inviting us and most of all the wonderful musicians in our 62 concerts last year (2013)

A special thank you to Yukiko Shinohara our director of our own '4Tune' (4 hands on 2 pianos) and 'Inzpir8tion' (8 hands on 2 pianos) and to Kazue Yanagida for her direction of our 'AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble'. Sadly Kazue has returned to Japan but she will be helping us in Japan so more on that later. Welcome Jung Yoon Cho and all best wishes in taking over from Kazue for the 'AJSW CME' lunch concert at St George's February 20th 2014.

Here are some of the live recordings we have edited and sampled to-gether of the groups in concert.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(Click on arrow to play audio)

  


Our Wessex Title Explained

Our title and what inspired it is often assumed to cover the region described in Thomas Hardy's novels based on the Wessex Region.....but he was a novelist not an historian and his geographical outline of Wessex described to suit his novels within a defined area and names he used of towns and villages pseudonyms for real places within that area. The real history of Wessex and the area it covered is more complex and over a variable area of the country as its fortunes ebbed and flowed. Our oft asked question "What are you doing in London" sometimes wearisome to answer as little can be explained in a few sentences to a half interested listener and especially the Japanese!

Wessex simply means 'West Saxons' and Sussex (South Saxons), Essex (East Saxons) and Middlesex (Middle Saxons). Wessex, unlike those counties, was never enshrined in the name of a county. The Saxons came from an area of Germany and our present Monarchy are only called the family name of Windsor due to a name change from Saxe-Coburg because of its Germanic connections and the concerns within the UK about the Royal Family's loyalties during World War I due to its relatives within the German Royal Family.

Surpressed post 1066 after the Norman invasion took over the Monarchy of the United Kingdom (s), the region of Wessex shone dimly through the ages almost as a folk memory until Hardy revived interest in it albeit with a novelist's interest to 'tell a good story' but not necessarily a factual one.

But it was the only Monarch called 'Great'...'Alfred The Great'....who established the region of Wessex as a crucial element to everything we now think of as 'English'....the 'Anglo-Saxons' (the English Saxons). Defeated by the Danish forces he hid on what we know as The Isle of Athelney close to Glastonbury in Somerset and from there rose again to defeat the Danes including taking London. Alfred believed the best way to establish national stability was to educate its people. And so began the process that grew into the British Empire that covered nearly the whole world which is why, whatever history's twists and turns may cause, there is some corner of a foreign field 'Forever England'.

Let us say then our title is symbolic of what one man can dream of and bring to a reality 'from a swamp in Somerset'.

Here is a visual explanation explaining some of the history by Ryan M. Reeves:

Click to play video
Alfred and Anglo Saxon England

Further info may be gained from myriad sources and Wikpedia a good place to embark on an expansive and interesting historical quest (see here).

Godfrey King 15.7.14

Want to know more?

Join us if you wish to keep in touch with what we are doing. Our constitution is written on our membership form so you know what you are signing up to. There will be a fresh approach to membership options as part of our overhaul and we have some exciting ideas we hope to bring to fruition in time not least with our web site that Stephen Rice and Phil Ronan looks after for us. If you have any ideas please contact us.

Our Patrons and President

  • Patron: Kyoko Gledhill
  • Hon. Patron: Yukiko Shinohara
  • Hon. Patron: George Logan (Dr Evadne Hinge)
  • Hon. Patron: Alexander Rosenblatt
  • Hon. Patron: Kotono Sato (BMus(Hon), MMus, Dip. RAM, LRAM)
  • Hon. Patron: Professor Gordon Fergus-Thompson (FRCM)
  • Hon. Patron: Shakti
  • Hon. Patron: Michael Soumei Coxall

Our illustrious figureheads represent cultural diversity and success midst diversity. Each have had lives that beg the question -- What is normal? -- Each are much loved and admired as much for "doing it their way" as for being human beings imbued with a generosity of spirit.

Next event

Tue 9th December 2014
Bristol Cathedral
Concert For The Christmas Season

Two Sites Covering Japanese Events

Inzpir8tion and the AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble

On May 31st, 2013 we held a promotional concert at St James's Church Piccadilly. Watch this space! Concert details are on our events page.

Click to visit home page Click to visit home page


(Click here for the full size poster containing full event details)

Two recordings made by musicians of the 'AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble and 'Inzpir8tion' pianists recorded live in concert at St George's, Bristol November 10th 2011.

Alexander Borodin (1834 to 1887): 'Nocturne' (Notturno from ‘String Quartet No 2 in D Major 3rd Movement’)
Played by AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

C.Saint-Saens (1835 to 1921): Dance Macabre, Op 40
Played by Inzpir8tion

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

15th Anniversary Concert

On November 10th 2011 we held a special concert at St George's Bristol to celebrate the AJSW’s 15th anniversary.

...See the blog for more information about this concert.

4Tune (4 hands on 2 pianos)

On November 7th, 2013 the AJSW 4 hands duo '4Tune' made its debut in a magnificent performance at St George's International Concert Venue, Bristol for a lunch concert performance led by our 'Inzpir8tion' (8 hands on 2 pianos) leader Yukiko Shinohara with Yuki Negishi (click here for event details).

Yukiko Shinohara Yuki Negishi

Yukiko Shinohara and Yuki Negishi

Hear Yukiko Shinohara on a live in concert recording from November 10th 2011 at St George's, Bristol playing Shima Kodomo Uta (Childrens Songs from Okinawa Islands) by Hikaru Hayashi

1. With Your Little Piglet

2. Ear Chopping Boy

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.