Ito Noe via Biwa: New Perspectives & Processes

Key information

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Russell Square: College Buildings
Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)

About this event

In March 2024, internationally-acclaimed Japanese biwa performer Akiko Kubota will be touring the UK with concert & talk 'On an Endless Road: Ito Noe and the Women Composers of her Time'. In the concert, Akiko will be performing a new work written for her by British composer Francesca Le Lohé.

In this event at the Japan Research Centre, Francesca and Akiko will offer insight into their collaborative process on the new piece for biwa which highlights the life and work of feminist anarchist Ito Noe (伊藤野枝) (1895-1923). A demonstration of the biwa and extracts of Francesca's new piece will also be performed live by Akiko Kubota.

About the speakers

Akiko Kubota is a satsuma biwa performer from Chiba prefecture, Japan. Her wide range of activities include performing narrative songs from the biwa's classic repertoire, collaborating with theatre groups, playing contemporary music with instrumental ensembles and featuring on anime and TV soundtracks. Akiko has performed extensively across Asia, South America and Europe and performed Takemitsu Toru's concerto "November Steps" for biwa and shakuhachi with the Brussels Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

Francesca Le Lohé is a composer active in Japan and the UK. Her operas include: “How Was It For You?” (2022) and "THE KEY": an immersive, site-specific opera inspired by Tanizaki's novella which was awarded the prestigious 2019 “Keizo Saji Prize”. On receiving a 2015 Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Scholarship, Francesca relocated to Japan to study Japanese language and 3 Japanese instruments, including satsuma biwa. She is now based in London.


This event free, open to the public, and held both in person and online. If you would like to attend, please register using one of the links above.