STRING QUARTET AND SANKYOKU TRIO (The traditional Japanese ensemble.)
Yoko Reikano Kimura, shamisen and voice
Sumie Kaneko, koto and voice
James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhach
The Cassatt String Quartet: Muneko Otani and Jennifer Leshnower, violins, Ah Ling Neu, viola and Elizabeth Anderson, cello. www.cassattquartet.com

World premiere commissions for septets by Daron Hagen and James Nyoraku Schlefer plus the Ravel Quartet!


Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 4:00 PM
Tenri Cultural Institute
43A West 13th Street
Newy York, NY

An amazingly beautiful cultural marriage - two iconic ensembles that each blossomed during the same historical period, one in the opulent courts of the Esterházys and the other in the Imperial palaces of Edo Japan.

CELLO-HACHI Sunday, September 30th 2018

Photos from “Cello-Hachi” with Kenneth Woods, cello, and Riley Lee, shakuhachi.

BROOKLYN SANYA IN LONDON Saturday, August 4th 2018
Performance of my composition BROOKLYN SANYA during the World Shakuhachi Festival in London, August 2, 2018.
BAMBOO IN THE ROCKIES Tuesday, July 10th 2018
Following a performance at the Crested Butte Music Festival in July. With Miwa Sasaki on koto.
Meeting Points Thursday, May 24th 2018

Performance in Tokyo of original and contemporary music on June 9, 2018.

ROSE MUSIC Friday, May 11th 2018

One of the most fascinating programs this spring. A rare opportunity to hear tremendously diverse music; from John King’s solo shakuhachi piece in the Honkyoku style, to the Avant Garde texturalism of Toshi Ichiyanagi, plus a world premiere of possibly the first trio ever for shakuhachi, shamisen and piano by Douglas Cuomo. Pictured above, the artists: Myself, Yoko Reikano Kimura (Shamisen) and Taka Kigawa (Piano) May 20 at Tenri Cultural Institute, NYC.  http://artsat.tenri.org/

Subito Press Interview Monday, April 16th 2018

A nice interview with Subito Press, publisher of Paul Moravec’s “Shakucuhachi Concerto” which I will played again on April 15 and 16.

SAKURA SMASH Sunday, April 15th 2018

The next Kyo-Shin-An Arts concert on April 15 at the Tenri Cultural Institute, SAKURA SMASH, features Sybarite5, a very cool ensemble that enthusiastically redefines the chamber music experience. I am joining them on shakuhachi for two pieces, one of which is the World Premiere of my own composition called The Troglodyte – my personal, musical reaction to the fall election of 2017. I hope you can come hear it and give me your comments. We are also playing some of Paul Moravec’s wonderful Shakuhachi Concerto.

Attached are two brief excerpts of the music you will hear. A snippet from a live recording of the Moravec Concertohttps://soundcloud.com/techmus/paul-moravec-concerto-excerpt

Here is the main melody of The Troglodyte, but since it hasn’t been performed yet, it is a computer version. 

And here is a link to Sybarite5 performing Radiohead.

Advance purchase tickets are only $20 ($25 day of the show) can be purchased here:

Sunday, April 15, 4:00PM
Tenri Cultural Institute
43A W.13th St, NYC

ARTICLES IN “NEW MUSIC BOX” Thursday, February 15th 2018

NewMusicBox is publishing a series of four articles I have written about my personal journey with the shakuhachi as well as the process of creating and presenting new music merging European and Japanese musical traditions. This is an effort that I have been passionate about for many years. The articles will continue weekly through the end of the February.

No. 1 https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/how-i-got-here-making-new-music-with-japanese-instruments/
o. 2. https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/the-intersection-of-genres/
No. 3 https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/elements-of-japanese-music/
No. 4 https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/some-practicalities-of-east-west-musical-collaborations/

Next Concert Feb. 25: KAMMERRAKU FROST Friday, February 2nd 2018

Japanese and Western sounds blend in a dynamic program of contemporary music for shakuhachi, shamisen and string quartet.

Sunday, February 25, 2018, 4:00 PM
Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th Street, New York City
Tickets $25/15 

Kyo-Shin-An Arts and ARts at Tenri present
Emily Ondrachek-Peterson and Galina Zhadanova, violins; Erik Peterson, viola; Wendy Law, cello
YOKO REIKANO KIMURA, shamisen and voice

The Floating Bridge of Heaven by Donald Womack for shamisen, shakuhachi and string quartet
String Journey by James Nyoraku Schlefer for shamisen and string quartet

Koto and Shakuhachi Performance in Portland OR Saturday, January 27th 2018

I was delighted to perform with Mitsuki Daizi at the stunningly beautiful Portland Japanese Garden.

Performance and Lecture Thursday, January 25th 2018

A solo performance of classic Zen Honkyoku and several contemporary pieces for shakuhachi at Willamette University in Salem Oregon. 

STUDENT RECITAL Sunday, December 3rd 2017

The annual Student Recital of Kyo-Shin An shakuhachi dojo was on December 3, 2017.

SHAKUHACHI QUINTETS Friday, April 28th 2017

The April 23rd performance with the Ciompi String Quartet had two pieces with shakuhachi by composers Charles Porter and Mark Nowakowski.

WORLD PREMIERE Sunday, March 19th 2017


“Between the Leaves” by Yoko Sato is the latest commission and it is a lush and beautiful work for shakuhachi, koto and string quartet. The Cassatt Quartet will premiere new music by Sebastian Courier and Tina Davidson, AND we reprise Somei Satoh’s astounding “KyoShin” for the entire ensemble. 

The Cassatt String Quartet: 
Muneko Otani and Jennifer Leshnower, violins – Ah Ling Neu, viola – Elizabeth Anderson, cello
Yoko Reikano Kimura, koto 
James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi.

Carnegie Hall Performance Friday, February 17th 2017

Following a performance of Karl Jenkin’s “REQUIEM” at Carnegie Hall with the composer on the podium. Photo: Nan Melville

VIDEO PROFILE Sunday, December 18th 2016

A brief video profile about my shakuhachi calling. click HERE

PERFORMANCE TODAY Monday, May 30th 2016

America’s most popluar classical music program features “Concertante” from the American premiere in 2015. May 30, 2016, Hour 2, at 11:40 minutes. into the show. HERE

NEA INTERVIEW Monday, May 16th 2016

Interview with the National Endowment for the Arts. Click here for to read the interview: ARTS BLOG

MORAVEC “QUINTET” ON NAXOS Monday, February 22nd 2016

Pretty funny that Paul Moravec’s “Shakuhachi Quintet” is on a NAXOS CD series called “American Classics.” But there you have it. Myself and the Voxare String Quartet playing Paul’s wonderful piece. HERE

INFLUENCER Tuesday, December 1st 2015

I’m very excited to have been selected by Musical America as one of the “30 Influencers” of classical music. Read the story HERE

DREAM CORNER REVIEW Tuesday, November 3rd 2015

Review of “Dream Corner" HERE

SHAKUHACHI at Newburyport, MA Sunday, August 9th 2015

Article about the performance of new music for shakuhachi ansd string trio on August 15th in Newburyport, MA. HERE

CONCERTANTE Monday, July 27th 2015

On June 27th my CONCERTANTE received it’s U.S. Premiere at the Round Top Music Festival in Texas. The performance was conducted by Perry So and featured the soloists Erica kiesewetter, Stephen Balderson, Yoko Reikano Kimura and Myself, with the RT Festival orchestra. You can listen here: Concertante

Preview of “Here and Now Festival” at Bargemusic. Saturday, December 27th 2014

And here’s the article. HERE

Review of “EXPLODING BAMBOO” Monday, May 5th 2014

Here is a review of the performance on May 4, 2014 at Tenri Cultural Institute that featured commissioned works by Mari Kimura and Randall Woolf, plus music by Adrian Lam, Caroline Shaw, Mohammed Fairouz and James Nyoraku Schlefer. Performed by Kathleen Supové, Jennifer Choi, Wendy Law and James Nyoraku Schlefer.

Review of “On Zephyr’s Strings” Monday, February 24th 2014

Here is a REVIEW of our latest concert at Tenri Cultural Institute  “On Zephyr’s Strings” with myself and the outstanding Ensemble Epomeo. Two world premieres; my own “Sidewalk Dances,” and “Rashomon” by Victoria Bond.

DREAM CORNER Wednesday, November 27th 2013

Following the premiere performance of “DREAM CORNER” on Nov. 24th in NYC, with the Cassatt String Quartet, Yoko Reikano Kimura and Masayo Ishigure.

RADIO INTERVIEW Wednesday, November 20th 2013

Here is an interview with conductor Kenneth Woods, on Wisconsin Public Radio, talking about and playing the recording we made of my Shakuhachi Concerto, final movement.  CLICK HERE

Recent Reviews in the New York Times. Friday, September 13th 2013

Read the full review:
Sept. 13, 2013

Aug. 31, 2013


New CD Review! Thursday, May 16th 2013

From American Record Guide. It is wonderful to get another great review. This time an American one!

NEW Review of Spring Sounds CD! Wednesday, May 1st 2013
Review of Duke University Performance Friday, March 1st 2013
WIND IN A BAMBOO FOREST Sunday, February 3rd 2013

to reserve a seat email: james@nyoraku.com 

Columbia Student Recital Monday, December 10th 2012

Following the end of semester recital at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University. L to R Erik Grossman, Benjamin Grossman, me, Patricia Slattery, Andrew Macomber. Photograph by George Hirose.

Spring Sounds, Spring Seas Gets Five Star Review! Tuesday, October 9th 2012

Review in MusicWeb, British classical music recording web site. CLICK HERE

Review in Hogaku Journal. Monday, October 8th 2012
Licensing Recital Sunday, June 24th 2012

Three new Rakus (楽) L to R: Eric Eraku Ford, Rachel Reiraku Mundy, Thomas Ryuraku Hack. Congratulations to all three for having earned their Jun-Shin-Han Certificates from the Kyo-Shin-An Shakuhachi Dojo.


After recording “Shakuhachi Quintet” by Paul Moravec with the Voxare String Quartet. L to R: Erik Peterson, Adrian Daurov (VSQ), Adam Abeshouse (Engineer/Producer), Paul Moravec (Composer), Me, Emily Ondracek, Galina Zhdanova (VSQ)

A Great addition to the shakuhachi repertoire. Can’t wait for the release of the recording of this fabulous piece!

FŪJIN STRINGS Saturday, June 16th 2012

After our performance of music for shakuhachi and piano trio. We played pieces by Marty Regan, Amir Eslami, and myself. L-R, David Oei, Laura Metcalf, Eriko Sato, and James. Schumann’s D-Minor piano trio completed the program. 

KYO SHIN AN DOJO AT MYOAN-JI Sunday, June 3rd 2012

After our performance of “KOKU” at Myoan-ji in Kyoto. This temple is the most revered shakuhachi temples in Japan and one day each year it is open for shakuhachi players to play inside as an act or respect and homage for the centuries old tradition. The stone behind us is inscribed “Sui Zen” or Blowing Meditation.

SANKYOKU NO.1 IN KYOTO Saturday, June 2nd 2012

A performance of my Sankyoku No. 1 for shakuhachi, koto and cello at the World Shakuhachi Festival in Kyoto. With my dear friends Yoko Reikano Kimura and Hikaru Tamaki.

KAMMERRAKU Tuesday, May 15th 2012

On May 5 and May 6, Kyo-Shin-An Arts presented two performances of KAMMERRAKU, a ground breaking concert of new music for string quartet with Japanese instruments. The performers were VOXARE String Quartet (standing rear) and (l to r) Yumi Kuorsawa, James Nyoraku Schlefer, Nami Kineie.

Subito Music Interview Monday, May 7th 2012
New Yorker Post Tuesday, May 1st 2012
Columbia University Sakura Matsuri Friday, April 6th 2012

For Columbia University’s SAKURA MATSURI two of my students and I played shakuhachi. 

Columbia University’s Japanese Music Program Thursday, March 22nd 2012

Video about the Gagaku-Hogaku program at Columbia University where I teach shakuhachi.

Watch it HERE

CMA covers Kyo-Shin-An Arts Sunday, January 15th 2012

Article in Chamber Music magazine about Kyo-Shin-An Arts.

Lesson with Japanese Prime Minister’s wife Monday, November 7th 2011

The wife of Japan’s Prime Minister, Mrs. Hitomi Noda, visited the Gagaku-Hogaku program of Columbia University and took a brief lesson with Nyoraku Sensei.