B I O G R A P H Y James Nyoraku Schlefer

James Nyoraku Schlefer, Shakuhachi Grand Master

Called "A Master of the Shakuhachi" by The New York Times, James Nyoraku Schlefer is a leading performer and teacher of shakuhachi in New York City. He received the Dai-Shi-Han or Grand Master's Certificate in 2001. In Japan he has worked with Aoki Reibo, Yokoyama Katsuya, Yoshio Kurahashi, Yoshinobu Taniguchi, and Mitsuhashi Kifu and his primary teacher in New York was Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin. He holds a Master's degree in Western flute & musicology from Queens College and currently teaches music history courses at the City University of New York. He has performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall, BAM, the World Financial Center, and the Metropolitan, Brooklyn and Philadelphia Museums. Schlefer has three solo recordings, Wind Heart (which travelled 120,000,000 miles aboard the Space Station MIR) Solstice Spirit (1998,) and Flare Up (2002.) His music has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Nyoraku is a member of the Japanese Sankyoku Ensemble East, which has performed and lectured at the Juilliard School, Manhattan and Eastman Schools of Music, Vassar, Haverford, Moravian, Colby-Sawyer, Hunter and Wellesley Colleges, SUNY New Paltz, and at music festivals in the US, Asia and Europe.

Schlefer began his musical career as a Western flutist and continues to perform on this instrument. A dedicated and respected teacher, Nyoraku Sensei is head of the Kyo-Shin-An teaching studio in New York City. He has edited books of traditional notation and written an etude book for shakuhachi technical development. He has composed several works for solo shakuhachi and shakuhachi ensemble, including a grant from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust for a new work to accompany dance, and a commission for an orchestral work with shakuhachi and koto to be premiered in 2005.

Website: www.nyoraku.com
email: james@nyoraku.com

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