Kitakaruizawa Music Seminar ,  Aug . 1 - 15 , 2020 


Charles Neidich ,  Ayako Oshima

2020 Seminar Faculty

Charles Neidich, Clarinet - Artistic Director


CharlesNeidich (U.S.A.) Clarinetist and conductor, Charles Neidich has gained worldwide recognition as one of the most mesmerizing virtuosos performing today. With a tone of hypnotic beauty and a dazzling technique, Mr. Neidich has received unanimous accolades from critics and fellow musicians both in the United States and abroad; but it is his musical intelligence in scores as diverse as Mozart and Elliott Carter that has earned for Mr. Neidich a unique place among clarinetists. In the words of The New Yorker, "He's an artist of uncommon merit - a master of his instrument and, beyond that, an interpreter who keeps listeners hanging on each phrase."
An ardent exponent of new music and a composer himself, he has expanded the technical and expressive possibilities of the clarinet and has championed the works of many of the world?s most important composers. He is a leading performer on period instruments and has restored and reconstructed original versions of works composers from Mozart to Copland.
In wide demand as a soloist, Mr. Neidich has collaborated with some of the world's leading orchestras and ensembles, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the MDR, the Berlin Radio Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, San Diego Symphony, New City Chamber Orchestra of San Francisco, Yomiuri Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Tafelmusik, the Handel/Haydn Society, the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra, the Juilliard, Guarneri, American, Mendelssohn, and Parker String Quartets and the Peabody Trio. He has made his mark not only as an instrumentalist, but also as an innovative programmer and student of period instrument performance practice. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Neidich is a member of the renowned New York Woodwind Quintet and is a member emeritus of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Neidich commands a repertoire of over 200 solo works, including pieces written, commissioned or inspired by him, as well as his own transcriptions of vocal and instrumental works. A noted exponent of 20th century music, he has premiered works by Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, Edison Denisov, William Schuman, Ralph Shapey, Joan Tower, and other leading contemporary composers. With a growing discography to his credit, Mr. Neidich can be heard on the Chandos, Sony Classical, Sony Vivarte, Deutsche Grammophon, Musicmasters, Pantheon, Bridge, and Bremen Music Hall labels. His recorded repertoire ranges from familiar works by Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, and Brahms, to lesser-known compositions by Danzi, Reicha, Rossini, and Hummel, as well as music by Elliott Carter, Gyorgy Kurtag, and other contemporary masters. Mr. Neidich received a rave review from Heuwell Tircuit in Fanfare for his Sony recording of  Robert Schumann's Sonatas Op. 105 and 121 and the Three Romances, Op. 94:
"... Indeed, the First Sonata (a major masterpiece) seems even more expressive on clarinet -- at least as Neidich plays it. Besides sheer enjoyment, I found myself moved by this performance." 
Mr. Neidich has performed at numerous summer festivals and appears regularly at the Marlboro Music Festival, the Sarasota Summer Music Festival, the Orford and Domaine Forget Festivals in Canada, and the International Stichting Masterclass Apeldoorn in the Netherlands and the Kryzowa Music Festival in Poland.
A native New Yorker of Belarussian and Greek descent, Charles Neidich had his first clarinet lessons with his father, and his first piano lessons with his mother. Mr. Neidich's early musical idols were Fritz Kreisler, Artur Schnabel and other violinists and pianists, rather than clarinetists. 
The clarinet, however, won out over time, and he pursued studies with the famed pedagogue Leon Russianoff. Although Mr. Neidich became quite active in music at an early age, he opted against attending a music conservatory in favor of academic studies at Yale University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Anthropology. While at Yale, he received the Selden Prize for musicianship and scholarship. In 1975 he became the first American to receive a Fulbright grant for study in the former Soviet Union. He attended the Moscow Conservatory for three years where his teachers were clarinetist, Boris Dikov and pianist, Kirill Vinogradov.
In 1985 Mr. Neidich became the first clarinetist to win the Walter W. Naumburg Competition, which brought him to prominence as a soloist. He then taught at the Eastman School of Music and during that tenure joined the New York Woodwind Quintet, an ensemble with which he still performs. His European honors include top prizes at the 1982 Munich International Competition sponsored by the German television network ARD, and the Geneva and Accanthes International Competitions. 
Charles Neidich has also been gaining greater and greater recognition as a conductor. For several years he was the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Queens College Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras throughout the US, Europe, and in Asia most recently in acclaimed Beethoven programs with the Hyogo PAC Orchestra and Mozart programs with the Tokyo Philharmonic in Japan. He has also been featured in programs in the triple role of Conductor, Soloist, and Composer with the Tapiola Sinfonietta and the San Diego Symphony.
Mr. Neidich has achieved great recognition as a teacher in addition to his activities as a performer, and currently a member of the artist faculties of the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Mannes College of Music and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.. In 2004, he was awarded the William Schuman Award for performance and scholarship at the Juilliard School. Already in its 12th season, together with his wife, Ayako Oshima, he founded the Kitakaruizawa Music Seminar. Just last year, he was awarded a lifetime membership in honor of his artistic achievements by the International Clarinet Society and a medal for lifetime achievement from the National Society of Arts and Letters. This medal has been awarded only to three other musicians: the pianist Menahem Pressler, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and the flutist Carol Wincenc.


Ayako Oshima, Clarinet, Executive Director
Ayako Oshima, winner of numerous international competitions including the 55th JapanMusic Competition in Tokyo, the Winds and Percussion Competition in Japan, and  3rd Prize winner in the 17th International Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade, where she also received the Golden Harp award given to the favorite of the audience and critics, is one of the most popular clarinet soloists in Japan. She performs on a regular basis both in recital and in concerto appearances with orchestra, highlights of which have included performances in Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Tanuma, at the Casals Hall, Kioi Hall, and Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, and with the Hiroshima, Osaka and, most recently in a gala  concert featuring the Bernstein Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs, with the NHK Symphony. 
Ms. Oshima is quite active in chamber music festivals. Festivals at which Ms. Oshima has appeared include the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, the Festival Consonances in France, the Sarasota Summer Music Festival, and Chamber Music Silicon Valley. 
Ms. Oshima was a founding member of L'Art Respirant, one of the first new music ensembles in Japan and also was a member of the noted ensemble, Contrasts Quartet. She has been involved playing historical instruments since 1991 and as a member of the acclaimed period instrument ensemble, Mozzafiato, she has recorded several CDs for the SONY Vivarte label. Other labels for which she has recorded include Toshiba EMI, Victor Japan, Naxos and Bridge. She recently released Bel Canto: music for two clarinets for the Aurora label.
In addition to her performing career, she maintains a high profile as a teacher and is on the faculties of the the Hartt School, the State University of New York at Purchase,  and the Juilliard School. She has also served on the juries of the Japan Music Competition, the Japan Winds, Percussion International Competition, and the Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition. Ms. Oshima founded and is the Director of the Kita Karuizawa Music Seminar which attracts clarinet students from all over Asia and has become the most important clarinet seminar in Japan. With her husband, Charles Neidich, she has written a book on the fundamentals of clarinet technique for the publisher, Toa Ongaku Inc. and writes a monthly column on music and the clarinet for Pipers Magazine. In 2011, She founded the all female Clarinet Ensemble, NYLicorice Ensemble which has released two CDS and is in the process of releasing their third. They have performed throughout Japan and in New York and have been featured on NHK television.
Ayako Oshima is also a noted chef and in September, 2017, she founded the WA Concert Series in New York with concept of Great Taste connecting music and food. Michael Miller, New York Arts, writes:
I should not forget to mention that the last interior page of the program was a menu. Ayako Oshima, an outstanding clarinetist, is also a chef of high accomplishments. Both of the Wa Concerts I have mentioned ended with a feast ..., which unleashed a dash of joyous, appreciative conversation about the music we had just heard. 

Andrew Simon, Clarinet
"...he is one of the finest players I've heard ...competitive with the best of the best."  - Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine
Acclaimed clarinettist Andrew Simon has appeared as soloist and guest lecturer on four continents. As Principal Clarinetist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew has recorded solo works by Baermann and Stravinsky and has performed concerti over 70 times, including John Corigliano's Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra which he studied with the Academy Award-winning composer. 
Among his notable performances are those with the Mainly Mozart Orchestra (US), the Singapore Symphony, as well as giving the Australian and Asian premieres of the original, unpublished version of Copland?s Concerto. In addition, his recital CDs include HOT and his new release, Ebony and Ivory, for NAXOS Recordings.
As guest lecturer, he frequents institutions such as Yale University, the Sydney Conservatorium, the Royal College of Music in London and the Central Conservatory in Beijing.  Having recently given his Sichuan, Taiwan, Lithuanian and New Zealand concerto debuts, Andrew also completed his Australian recital/masterclass tour of Australia in July 2019. Upcoming projects include concertos with Jaap Van Zweden and Richard Strauss Duet-Concertino with The SAR Philharmonic.
A graduate of The Juilliard School, Andrew is a Buffet-Crampon, Vandoren and Ishimori artist. He is also the first American-born musician to perform in North Korea. 
Away from music, his adventurous streak has taken him to an ashram in India, a bungy jump in New Zealand and a tennis match against John McEnroe (he lost).
Harri Mäki, Clarinet
Harri Mäki studied the clarinet mainly with Reijo Koskinen in Finland. Having graduated from the class of Thomas Friedli at the Geneva Conservatory, he joined the Tapiola Sinfonietta. He also studied privately with Charles Neidich and Osmo Vänskä. He has premiered dozens of works, including clarinet concertos written for him by Juhani Nuorvala and Kirmo Lintinen. He is the Professor of Woodwinds at the Sibelius Academy and was the Solo Clarinet of Tapiola Sinfonietta from 1988?2018. Harri Mäki has appeared as a soloist and a chamber musician in European countries, in the Far East, and in North and South America. In 2012, he received the Pro Musica award for his merits as a performer and a teacher.
Xiangyu Zhou, Clarinet

Born in Xi’an, China, Xiangyu Zhou began studying clarinet at age 10 with Yu Wang and Zheng Chi at the Xi’an Conservatory of Music. After winning first prize in the TOYAMA Asian Young Artist Competition in 2002, Zhou obtained his bachelor and master degrees from Juilliard, where he studied with Charles Neidich. He is also an alum of Interlochen Arts Academy.

Zhou co-founded PUFF! Woodwind Quintet, winner of the 2009 Arriaga Chamber Music Competition. PUFF! was a featured group at Juilliard’s annual Focus! Festival and made its Kennedy Center debut in May 2010. After relocating to Shanghai in 2011, Zhou co-founded the 1380 Woodwind Quintet, performing in the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series and Shanghai Music Hall Music Afternoon Series. Zhou collaborated with the Shanghai Quartet at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center in 2013.

Zhou served as associate principal clarinet in the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra from 2011 to 2015. Zhou toured Asia and Europe with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Zhou also served as guest assistant principal clarinet with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 2016, and E-flat clarinet with the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra in its 2016–2017 season.

Zhou was a guest faculty member at the Shanghai Conservatory Middle School and has also given master classes at the Manhattan School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy. Zhou is currently the resident faculty of the Tianjin Juilliard School.

Lorenzo Antonio Iosco, Bass Clarinet 

ClicLorenzo Antonio Iosco holds the Bass Clarinet position at the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Previously, he was a member of the London Symphony Orchestra for eight years and of the Madrid Opera House (Teatro Real) in Spain for three years. Born in Potenza, Italy, in 1985, he studied at the Luigi Cherubini conservatory in Florence. As soloist Lorenzo has performed the most important repertoire for clarinet (Mozart, Weber, Rossini) several times in Europe and Asia, and made his London Wigmore Hall debut in collaboration with the London Conchord Ensemble. He studied orchestral conducting in Florence and Rome, and has been regularly invited to conduct ensembles at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Academy of Music of London, Royal Orchestra Society and Oxford University, Arezzo Youth Orchestra, Castelbuono Classica Symphony Orchestra and the Florence Sinfonietta.

Lorenzo is Founder and Music/Artistic Director of Ensemble Ubertini, a chamber orchestra based in Tuscany with guest musicians from Hong Kong, Europe and United Kingdom. The ensemble has participated to several classic festivals in Italy (Festival delle Musiche and Castelbuono Classica) and given concerts with the Italian pianist Gilda Buttà (official pianist of Ennio Morricone) playing the first version of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F. Future engagements will see Lorenzo conducting and playing in California, Italy, China and Australia.

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