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Junko Ueda - Satsuma-biwa

Born in Tokyo, Junko Ueda was accepted as a student by the great Kinshi Tsuruta, a remarkable satsuma biwa player.  At the same time, she began studying Japanese Buddhist song, or shômyô, with the master Kashin Ebihara.  In 1998, Junko established herself in Amsterdam and began a career as a soloist singer and biwa player.  She toured the USA, Europe and Asia several times.  She also became interested in contemporary music and participated in diverse programmes, notably with the composer Jean-Claude Éloy and the Dutch flautist Wim Offermans.  Her first solo album, L'épopée des Heike (1990), won various distinctions, including the Grand Prix from the Charles Cos Academy in Paris, France in 1991.  This new album sees pieces from the traditional repertoire placed alongside a Toru Takemitsu composition, which finds inspiration in the contemporary sphere.

 “Junko Ueda’s solo performance is quite simply magnificent” (Le Monde de la Musique)

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