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Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex

An Unincorporated Association

Honorary Patrons:
Kazue Yanagida, Aisa Ijiri, George Logan (Dr Evadne Hinge), Michael Soumei Coxall

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Kazue Yanagida

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柳田 和江(名誉パトロン)AJSW日本代表

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Event Info

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Double Programme — West and East (with Bells String Quartet and Yomo No Kai)

Wed Oct 13th 2010, 12:15–2:30 pm ◀ This event has finished
St Dunstan-in-the-West, 186a Fleet St, London, EC4A 2HR

Today’s event is a double concert featuring Bells String Quartet from 1:15pm until 2:00pm, followed by Yomo No Kai from 2:30pm until 3:30pm.


Bells String Quartet (1:15–2:00)

Yomo No Kai (2:30–3:30)

Artist info

Bells String Quartet

Bells String Quartet: Ryoko Harada (violin), Cristina Prats (violin), Josh Stilwell (viola) and Maarit Kangron (cello)

Ryoko Harada was born in Tokyo and started her musical studies with the violin at the age of four under the teachings of Kaoru Yamada and Kyoko Suzuki. She attended the Toho Gakuen Junior Academy and the Toho Music High School for six years before she entered the Toho Gakuen School of Music in 2003, where she studied with Professor Tomoko Kato. She has also participated in masterclasses with Masao Kawasaki, Werner Hink, Daniel Gaede, Paul Roczek, Miwako Watanabe, Sadao Harada and the Tokyo String Quartet at summer festivals worldwide.

Ryoko has been awarded many prizes such as the gold prize of the International Music and Art Festival in Asia in 2005 and the first prize of the AJAA Music Society Violin Competition in 2007. She held a solo recital at the Wien-Hall in Tokyo in 2008. She is also a keen chamber and orchestra musician, having performed as part of the Amico Quartet at the 4th Project Q. Since 2006 she has been a member of the renowned Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra and the Saito Kinen Chamber Music Study Group for Young People.

She is a recipient of a scholarship from Rohm Music Foundation in Japan and the Elizabeth Willmore Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Professor Tomotada Soh. She is currently in her second year of the Masters in Performance at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and is learning with Professor Detlef Hahn.

Cristina Prats started her studies of violin at the age of 5 in Ibiza, Spain, where she was born. In 1995, she entered the Conservatory of Music of Ibiza where she obtained the Intermediate Level of Music in the speciality of violin (LOGSE) the year 2002–2003. She continued studying at the Liceo Conservatory of Music of Barcelona, with the teachers Corrado Bolsi and Manel Porta, obtaining the diploma of Higher Level of Music in the speciality of Violin in June of 2008 with high marks. She also took secondary classes in viola with the teacher Paul Cortese. She has carried out several violin technique and perfection courses and has participated in masterclasses with teachers such as Vartan Manoogian, Lina Tur Bonet, Agustín León-Ara, Joaquín Palomares, Ángel Jesús García, Jerone Akoka, Paolo Mornea, Mark Gothoni, Miguel Borrego, Gabrielle Lester, Manuel Porta, Vladimir Prjevalski, Vicent Balaguer, Yuri Zhislin, Mauro Rossi, Attilio Motzo, among others.

Cristina is a member of of various orchestras — the Young National Orchestra of Catalonia (JONC), the Symphonic Orchestra Ciudad de Ibiza, the Orchestra of Young Interpreters of the Catalan Countries (OJIPC), the Young National Orchestra of Spain (JONDE) and the World Orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales (JMWO) and Jonc Philarmonia.

In 2008, she won first prize at the Arjau Music International Competition of Barcelona with the chamber group "Diesi Piano Trio", and third prize at the Lerida International Competition. She is currently studying violin with the teacher Krysztof Smietana at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Josh Stilwell was born in Melbourne, Australia and began violin lessons at the age of 14. He attended at the Victorian College of the Arts for one year before commencing a Bachelor of Music at the Utrechts Conservatorium studying with Adis Valdimarsdottir. Currently he is a student of Rachel Roberts at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having been awarded a full scholarship. He has a strong interest in chamber music and is a member of the Bells String Quartet and Voix des Archet — a period instrument string quartet. He has been awarded scholarships to attend festival including the Bowdoin International Chamber Music Festival, Stichting Masterclass Apeldoorn and Festival Campos do Jordão. He has also performed at the Bad Arolsen Barock-Festspiele in Germany. Josh has participated in masterclasses with Atar Arad, Roger Chase, Karen Dreyfus and Hermann Voss.

Maarit Kangron was born in 1985 in Tallinn, Estonia. At the age of six she started cello studies with professor Mart Laas in Tallinn Music High School. In 2003 she won the 3rd prize in ESTA String Competition in Tallinn. After graduating Music High School in 2004 Maarit continued at The Estonian Academy of Music and Theater with professor Peeter Paemurru. During her studies Maarit has spent ten months in Spain as an exchange student, she has participated in several international orchestra projects (Deutsche Französische Forum Orchester, Baltic States Youth Orchestra, The Helsinki Strings, Estonian Youth Orchestra) and master classes (Henry-David Varema, Teet Järvi, Florian Kitt, Josef Luitz, Nils Ullner, Josef Feigelson, Stefan Popov). She has given concerts as a soloist with Tallinn Music High School Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and also with several chamber groups. In 2006–2008 she worked in Estonian National Opera Orchestra. In September 2009 she entered The Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she currently studies in Stefan Popov’s cello class. She has been a member of the Bells String Quartet since 2009.

Michiko Hisamatsu and Yomo No Kai

Michiko Hisamatsu was born at Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan. She began her Koto career at the age of 6, and formed her own Koto group Yomo No Kai in 1965. Today, the group has about 30 members. “Yomo No Kai” means “group from all directions” in Japanese, and it represents Michiko’s principle to enjoy Koto music in the company of others.

Michiko and Yomo No Kai give an annual concert once a year in springtime and also play at the local cultural festival every autumn. Apart from those two main concerts, they visit retirement and homes for the handicapped to play Koto throughout the year.

Michiko has travelled abroad for concert tours with her pupils and friends many times — England in 2002, Finland in 2003, Germany in 2004, Russia in 2005, Portugal in 2006, and Romania in 2007.

In 2008, she played at an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dutch–Japanese Association at Leiden in the Netherlands, which was well received.

Venue: St Dunstan-in-the-West

Flickr Search

Pictures of St Dunstan-in-the-West at the Flickr website

The church of St. Dunstan in the West dates back to circa 1070 AD, and the present building was completed in the early 19th century.

The nearest tube stations are Chancery Lane (Central line) and Temple (Circle and District line).

For more information, visit the church's website.


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