Featured Guest Composer Shoko Suzuki

Shoko Suzuki

        I first came to America to study with the composer Bernard Rands,
whose music I became fascinated with during my studies at the
Tokyo University of Fine Arts. In his music, he positions each
musician as independent yet connected to one another
(unlike hierarchical polyphony typical of Western Art Music).

        This love for musicians and audiences informs my music-making, as I aim to

transcribe what I receive. I tune into the vibrations of everything 

around me, like clouds shifting or wisterias swaying and express the sounds 

that I hear. 

        I have been fortunate to learn about the characters and possibilities of 

instruments by collaborating with brilliant musicians like William Anderson and 

Oren Fader from the Cygnus Ensemble I have also written pieces by imagining 

the sounds of the worlds of poems by Sumire Yoshiwara, Izumi Shikibu and 

Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

        I have also enjoyed exploring human connection through music-making as an

educator. At the New Jersey Japanese School, I helped students compose, arrange,

and perform musical themes. With the support of the Composers Guild of New Jersey, I

commissioned three new works based on these themes which were premiered a longside

the childrens’ performances at the Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. As the Chair of Musicianship

at the Thurnauer School of Music, I composed sight-reading materials individualized to e

ach student’s needs.