Japanese Embassy ,SOSL team up for first ever Jaffna concert


The Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Nobuhito Hobo announces the list of events lined up in Jaffna and Colombo between November 10 and December 8, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka-Japan diplomatic relations, at his Colombo residence on Thursday. He is flanked from left to right by Keiko Kobayashi, Guest Conductor, Sharmini Wettimuni, Chairperson of Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka and Kiyohiko Hamada,First Secretary, Culture and Information at the Japanese Embassy.

The Japanese Embassy along with the Japan Foundation and Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL), have teamed up to conduct several cultural events in Jaffna, which is a first for them, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka-Japan diplomatic relations.

The events to be staged both in Jaffna and Colombo, are scheduled to feature several concerts including Premières, Classical and a AUN & HIDE musical performance.

Also lined up are the screening of a Japanese film Wanko - The Story of Me, My Family and My Dog, Randooga workshops and Jazz concerts.

The cultural shows,particularly in Jaffna will be of historical importance as it would be the first time that the Japanese Embassy will be staging such events in the Northern Capital, ambassador Nobuhito Hobo said, adding that it would also be a first for SOSL.

The programmes lined up also indicated Japan’s willingness to contribute towards the Sri Lankan governments efforts to promote harmony and reconciliation between the various communities, the ambassador noted.

The SOSL which is in its 55th season was delighted to be collaborating with the Japanese Embassy in their celebration of 60 years of diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka, its Chairperson Sharmini Wettimuni said.

The SOSL, which reaches out to students through outreach programs both in and outside Colombo, has over the last two years taken music to the South and in the North,upto Kilinochchi she said adding, "We are delighted that November 17, would mark our very first concert in Jaffna. Titled "Music from Around the World" which will feature three excellent Japanese professionals as the conductors, Keiko Kobayashi, the main soloist (Clarinet) Ado Kihara and Japanese composer Eiji Suzuki who would introduce his special composition to the People of Jaffna."

Entrance to the Jaffna concert will be free and open to all music loving people. The different instruments of the orchestra will be explained and demonstrated to the audience. In addition, the music to be performed will be described to give a greater understanding to the audience. The overall experience will certainly provide great entertainment for students, teachers and the general public, Sharmini noted.

The "Premières Concert" of the SOSL conducted by Keiko Kobayashi, a renowned Japanese Guest Conductor, is to be held at the Ladies’ College Hall, Colombo on November 10. It will feature Eiji Suzuki, an internationally acclaimed Japanese composer who would showcase his World Première performance compositions in person inspired by Sinhala and Tamil folk tunes. Tanya Ekanayaka, an internationally acclaimed classical pianists would be the soloist.  

The Japanese film Wanko has been scheduled for screening on November 16, at the Veerasingham Hall, Jaffna. It’s a miraculous story of friendship and the indelible bond between a dog, a boy and his family based on true events of a family torn apart by an unimaginable natural disaster.

 The Classical Music Concert by SOSL to be conducted by Keiko Kobayashi and also featuring Eiji Suzuki is to staged at the Veerasingham Hall, Jaffna on November 17.

 The Randooga Workshop which uses the improvisation method created by Masahiko Satoh, as a means of nonverbal communication to enhance dialogue with oneself and between people to be held in Jaffna has been scheduled for November 27t, 28t and 29. A Study Concert has also been listed for November 29.

Satoh, who is a master pianist would be joined by Sitarist Pradeep Ratnayake in a unique musical performance that will be spontaneous and improvised. Kei Wada (percussionist), Akiko Uesugi (singer), Isaac Smith (bassist) will be part of the team.

Satoh, Ratnayake and their team will be back in Colombo on December 2, for a Special Concert of jazz piano improvisation at the Lionel Wendt Theatre.  

The AUN & HIDE Musical Concert to be held at the National Youth Service Council (NYSC), Maharagama on December 7 and at the Hotel School Auditorium, Colombo on December 8, will feature three talented Japanese artists playing traditional Japanese musical instruments such as Taiko (drums), Shamisen (Japanese guitar), fue (Japanese flute) and Japanese traditional percussion presenting a mix of classics, semi classics and modern music.

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