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Shoko Suzuki

        I first came to America to study with the composer Bernard Rands, whose music I became fascinated with during my studies at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts. In his music, he positions each musician as independent yet connected to one another (unlike hierarchical polyphony typical of Western Art Music).

        This love for musicians and audiences informs my music-making, as I aim to transcribe what I receive. I tune into the vibrations of everything around me, like clouds shifting or wisterias swaying and express the sounds that I hear. 

        I have been fortunate to learn about the characters and possibilities of instruments by collaborating with brilliant musicians like William Anderson and Oren Fader from the Cygnus Ensemble I have also written pieces by imagining the sounds of the worlds of poems by Sumire Yoshiwara, Izumi Shikibu and Ralph Waldo Emerson. To see more of my past works, please see “works.” 

        I have also enjoyed exploring human connection through music-making as an educator. At the New Jersey Japanese School, I helped students compose, arrange, and perform musical themes. With the support of the Composers Guild of New Jersey, I commissioned three new works based on these themes which were premiered alongside the childrens’ performances at the Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. As the Chair of Musicianship at the Thurnauer School of Music, I composed sight-reading materials individualized to each student’s needs.

        Now, I hope to continue connecting with others through music on the “playground” page of this website, where I invite you to take my improvisatory clips as seeds for your creations.

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