Makiko Goto

Makiko Goto Makiko Goto, born in Tokyo, Japan 1963, started playing koto with her mother at the age of nine. Since she was twelve years old she studied under Kazue Sawai and Tadao Sawai at the Sawai Koto School where she received the master degree “Shihan”.

In 1986, she moved to Hawaii (USA), where she was an instructor at the Ethnic Music Department of the University of Hawaii and established a branch of the Sawai Koto School. Since 1992, she is living in the Netherlands.

Makiko Goto is performing both traditional and contemporary music on koto, 17-string bass koto and 21-string koto. She is frequently invited to join in different ensembles and groups (duo, trio, electronic music ensemble, theatre, dance, etc) throughout Europe, Japan and the USA.

The Duo collaboration with the recorder player Jeremias Schwarzer (since 2003) is one of her actual deep focus, including both traditional and contemporary music for two instruments coming from different cultural backgrounds.

Since Makiko Goto is living in Europe she frequently participates in the premieres of works for koto instruments by contemporary composers. She has been performing several times compositions by Toshio Hosokawa, including the first performances of “Koto- Uta” for voice and koto and “Nocturne” (revised version, originally composed for Kazue Sawai) for bass-koto. Among other works of Makoto Shinohara for koto and bass-koto, she premiered “To Rain and Wind” for three kotos (13, 17, 21-strings) & live electronics and “Fragmente Duo” for tenor recorder & 21-strings koto. Some of her recent focuses was the collaboration with composers such as Misato Mochizuki, Bernhard Lang, Kunsu Shim, Gerhald Stäbler, Rupert Huber, Jimmy Lòpez, Annette Schlünz and others.
Goto also participated in the composition the “Opening of the Mouth” by Richard Barrett with the Ensemble Phoenix Basel, conducted by Jürg Henneberger.

Her performances were recorded for international radio- and television programs and she appears on several CD´s with contemporary and traditional pieces for koto solo and/or chamber music with other instruments and voice.

Makiko Goto performed as a member of the Kazue Sawai Koto Ensemble until 1992 for:
Ton und Gegenton, Vienna; Bang on a Can, New York; Border Crossing, Toronto; Moers New Jazz Festival, Germany; Kennedy Center, Washington D.C; Conservatory of Moscow; Theatre des Champs-Elysees and Theatre de la Ville, Paris.

Her Solo and chamber music appearances include:
East West Center, Honolulu, 1989
- 12th Summer Courses for young composers in Poland (ISCM-Polish section), 1992
- Gaudeamus Foundation at the IJsbreker, Amsterdam, 1992
- Konsert Hus in Oslo, 1993
- International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) at the University of Cologne, 1993
- Japanese Culture Center in Rome
- Sezione Musica Contemporanea 1994, Milano 1994
- RAI-concerthall, Torino, 1994
- Japanische Musiktage, Japanisches Kulturinstitut Köln (WDR), 1994
- Presences '95, Festival de creation musicale; Maison de Radio France, Paris
- NAH! FERN!-Festival mit neuer und traditioneller Musik aus Japan, Leipzig, 1996
- Aspekte Salzburg, 20. Internationales Festival zeitgenossischer Musik, 1996
- Biennale Neue Musik Hannover, May 1999
- Takefu International Music Festival in Japan, June 1999
- 40.International Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, 2000
- Bach Nacht im Gasteig, München, 2000
- Musée des arts Asiatiques, Nice, 2000
- 17. International Musik Festival Davos, 2002
- Klangspuren in Austria, 2002
- Royaumont, creations de la session de composition Voix Nouvelles, France, 2002
- Musica Scienza 2003, Goethe-Institut Rome, Italy, 2003
- Biennale Bern ’03, Sep 2003
- Blickpunkt Japan, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Leipzig, 2004
- ISCM WNMD 2004 “Trans-it”, Swiss, 2004
- XII FESTIVAL ATEMPO, Caracas Venezuela, 2005
- The 34th Anniversary of U.A.E, United Arab Emirates/Abu Dhabi, 2005
- Exhibition of Contemporary Music 2006, Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall, Japan, 2006
- Forum neuer Musik 2006, Deutschlandfunk, Köln, 2006
- Auditorio del Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2006
- Jubiläumskonzert zum 60-jährigen Bestehen des Chores des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Prinzregententheater, München, 2006
- ISCM World New Music Festival "Grenzenlos“, Stuttgart, 2006
- 43.International Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, 2006

As a soloist with orchestra Makiko Goto has been performing the koto concerto by Maki Ishii “GA-EI” with the Brabant Conservatorium Orchestra in the Netherlands, “Voice of the Phoenix for Koto and Orchestra” by Neil McKay (USA) with the University of Hawaii Symphony Orchestra in Honolulu (Hawaii) and in 2004 the first performance of the concerto for koto instruments (13, 21-strings and 17-strings bass koto) and orchestra by Jimmy Lopez from Peru premiered in Amsterdam with the Utrechtse Muziek Academie orchestra.

Photo: Marcel Maspaitella