Tokyo-born Chicago pianist and Shin Higuchi Institute artistic director Rei Hotoda has made a career of bringing Japanese music into the Euro-centric classical-music repertoire by clever cross-fertilizations and points of intersection between East and West. This solo piano recital features works by Debussy and Ravel, who were obsessed with their limited exposure to anything Japanese a century ago, as was virtually the entire Impressionistic movement that began with Monet, who spent a lifetime painting increasingly abstract renditions of his own Japanese garden. Contemporary Japanese composers are no less fascinated with the West, and though the music of Toru Takemitsu, Katoka Suzuki and Toshio Hosokawa are each deeply Japanese, each have composed in the Western concert tradition. (Dennis Polkow)
August 21 at the Chicago Cultural Center.