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Reison Kuroda

Reison Kuroda

Reison Kuroda is a master of the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute. He is a rare talent working on expanding the possibilities of shakuhachi through a wide variety of music genres, from classics to modern, jazz, and improvisation. Reison has recorded many pieces, performed on TV and radio programs, and has received many songs from composers.

Reison studied under Reibo Aoki – a shakuhachi player designated a Living National Treasure of Japan – and Shoji Aoki. He graduated with a master’s degree from the Department of Japanese Traditional Music at the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2013.

In 2011, Reison created the Hougaku Quartet and began his career through commissioned work, the revival of modern Japanese music from the 1970s and 1980s, and classics from the Edo period. The quartet has performed in many exhibition concerts and in eight independent recitals. The quartet has also appeared on the NHK FM radio program Hougaku no Hitotoki, where Reison has also performed as a soloist, and was featured on the cover of the magazine Hougaku Journal in 2015.

In 2014, Reison performed Park Bum-Hoon’s shakuhachi concerto Ryu at the Korea Kudara Festival and again in Gongju. He gave the first public performance of Kazutomo Yamamoto's shakuhachi concerto Roaming Liquid for Shakuhachi and Orchestra and presented it again in Japan in 2015.

As a member of Ensemble Muromachi, Reison won the Prize Keizo Saji in 2013. As part of an ensemble with Hiroyasu Nakajima, Reison won the highest award at the Hidenori Tone Traditional Japanese Instruments contest in 2016 and was featured on the NHK Educational TV program Nippon No Geinoh.

Reison participated in the Ars Musica modern music festival in Belgium in 2016 where he performed Toru Takemitsu’s November Steps, Claude Ledoux’s latest shakuhachi concerto, and the premier performance of Denis Levaillant’s piece for shakuhachi and chamber orchestra.

In 2018, Reison won the highest award for his craft at the World Shakuhachi Competition in London, and in 2019, he was appointed as a Japan Cultural Envoy for the Government of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, performing in sixteen cities in six countries around the world.


Languages spoken: English, Japanese


Photo credit: Ayane Shindo.