The theme of the Juilliard School’s 31st annual new-music FOCUS! festival from January 23 to 30 will be Japanese music since 1945, much of it being heard for the first time outside Japan. The first of six free concerts will feature Joel Sachs leading the New Juilliard Ensemble at Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater in a program featuring Toshio Hosokawa’s Voyage X—Nozarashi (2009) for shakuhachi and ensemble, with Marco Lienhard on shakuhachi; also featured will be works by Akira Nishimura, Somei Satoh, Misato Mochizuki, and Michio Mamiya. The festival continues with four chamber music concerts from January 26-29, and concludes with a January 30 tribute to Tōru Takemitsu with the Juilliard Orchestra led by Tadaaki Otaka, conductor of the NHK, Tokyo, and Sapporo Symphony Orchestras. That program will feature works by Takemitsu as well as Akira Miyoshi, Takashi Yoshimatsu, and Claude Debussy. Zachary Woolfe’s profile of festival organizer Joel Sachs appears in Sunday’s (1/18) New York Times.
Posted January 20, 2015