NAOKO AKUTAGAWA – Sept. 2022
SUITES & VARIATIONS FROM THE GERMAN LANDS ca. 1700
- Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022
- Timing: Doors open 7:00pm for a 7:30pm start. Concert ends ~9:00pm.
- Venue: St. Thomas’ Parish Church, 1517 18th St. NW, Dupont Circle, Washington DC 20036
- Metro: Venue is 5 mins walk from Dupont Metro using the Q Street exit.
- Parking: 11 Dupont Circle Parking garage is 2 mins walk from the venue. Parking is a flat rate $13. Note: garage closes 11:00pm.
- Covid Protocols: Proof of full vaccination in required. Other Covid protocols will be updated 2 weeks before the concert.
In this delightful program Naoko Akutagawa performs works by five German masters active in the early 1700s – father and son Georg and Gottlieb Muffat, Johann Mattheson, Dieterich Buxtehude and Georg Friedrich Händel. Each was a musical innovator, experimenting with the new French and Italian musical styles reaching the German lands and developing new musical forms. Their keyboard works retain a sparkling freshness and vibrancy.
Naoko Akutagawa has performed on three world premier recordings of recently discovered suites by Gottlieb Muffat, made in conjunction with new editions by Glen Wilson for Breitkopf & Härtel.
Naoko Akutagawa was born in Hiroshima in 1974. She studied piano there from the age of three and later in Tokyo with Professor Masayasu Oshima. At sixteen she switched to the harpsichord and studied privately with Chiyoko Arita before entering her class at the Toho Gakuen College of Music where she took her soloist diploma in 1997. In that year she entered the Musikhochschule in Würzburg, Germany as a student of Professor Glen Wilson, ending her studies with the Meisterklasse diploma in 2001. She was appointed assistant professor at Würzburg in 1999, a position she continues to hold. Naoko was a laureate at the 2006 Premio Bonporti Competition and the 2008 Göttingen Händel Competition. Naoko has been a guest lecturer at Toho Gakuen and a harpsichordist for the Netherlands Opera. Her recordings have been broadcast by Japanese state radio, the BBC, American Public Radio and many European stations.
Naoko Akutagawa made her début recording for Naxos in 2005 with the complete works for harpsichord by Gaspard le Roux. She followed this with highly acclaimed recordings for the same label with works by Graupner, Bernardo Storace, and Franz Benda. Naoko has performed on three world premier recordings of recently discovered suites by Gottlieb Muffat, made in conjunction with new editions by Glen Wilson for Breitkopf & Härtel.
Johan van Veen, MusicWeb International “Naoko Akutagawa shows her impressive technical skills in these works by Graupner whose pieces are often very virtuosic. Ms. Akutagawa plays Graupner’s large Chaconne brilliantly with an intensity which never fades.”
Byzantion, MusicWeb International – ‘’Critical assessment of [Akutagawa’s] playing has always been positive, and rightly so:… she is reassuringly confident and expressive, as well as galvanically virtuosic.”
David Denton, David’s Review Corner: “I have written with considerable enthusiasm on Naoko Akutagawa’s disks… her technique, clarity and feel for the period is immaculate.”
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