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Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex

An Unincorporated Association

Honorary Patrons:
Alexander Rosenblatt, George Logan (Dr Evadne Hinge), Michael Soumei Coxall, Kazue Yanagida

Japan Representative:
Kazue Yanagida

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Jackie Wright

Godfrey King

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Phil Ronan, Steve Rice

Established 1996

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柳田 和江(名誉パトロン)AJSW日本代表

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A Concert for Christmas — Asuka Kurogi, Simon Callaghan, Kan Tomita and the IBUKI TRIO

Mon Dec 1st 2008, 1:10–2:00 pm ◀ This event has finished
St James's Church Piccadilly, 197 Piccadilly London W1J 9LL


AJSW presents Asuka Kurogi, Simon Callaghan, Kan Tomita and the IBUKI TRIO — Kan Tomita, Ben Wragg, Laura Anstee

“A celebration of music by Tchaikovsky (1840~1893)”

Arioso No. 1 (Iolanta's Arioso) from Opera Iolanta
None but the lonely heart
The cradle song
Asuka Kurogi (soprano), Kan Tomita (piano)

Piano Trio in A minor Op.50, 1st movement: Pezzo elegiaco, Moderato assai — Allegro giusto — In tempo molto sostenuto — Adagio con duolo e ben sostenuto — Moderato assai — Allegro giusto
Ibuki Trio — Ben Wragg (violin), Laura Anstee (cello), Kan Tomita (piano)

The Nutcracker Suite Op. 71a (selection), arranged for four hands by E. Langer March: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Russian Dance, Trepak, Chinese Dance, Waltz of the Flowers
Kan Tomita and Simon Callaghan — piano duet

Simon Callaghan

Simon Callaghan (Pianist)

"What a wonderful pianist, who combines complete understanding of the style of music he is playing with a rare subtlety and brilliance of execution."
— Sir Roger Norrington

British pianist Simon Callaghan is in much demand internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. He continues to captivate audiences with his intelligent and compelling performances and his wide-ranging musical interests are earning him a reputation as a versatile and exciting young artist.

Recent performances include: a tour of South Korea, a recital at the Royal Opera House, a gala concert with ENO principals and a début with the RLPO under Gerard Schwarz. In addition Callaghan has given recitals throughout the UK, in Austria, Belgium, France, Japan, Sri Lanka and on BBC Television and Radio.

Following his studies at Chetham’s School of Music with Bernard Roberts Simon became a Scholar at the Royal College of Music under Yonty Solomon, where he won many prizes and graduated with first class honours. He now studies privately with Frank Wibaut.

Simon Callaghan’s keen interest in the promotion of lesser-known music has led to performances of works by Kapustin, Sterndale Bennett, Parry, W.T. Best and Françaix. This interest led to an invitation from the Belgian De Rode Pomp label to record some English solo piano music, which was released in 2008 and features several world première recordings.

(For more information, visit

Asuka Kurogi

Asuka Kurogi
Asuka Kurogi’s musical education started at the age of four, studying the piano at the Yamaha Music School. She studied Voice and Piano at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (BMus hons) and Royal Welsh college of Music and Drama (PGDip) fully sponsored by Rotary International Foundation. She was awarded the Performance Practice Award for her singing of contemporary music. Since she came to the UK, she has been the soprano soloist with various chorus‘, chorus societies’ and singing the Japanese National Anthem at the Millennium Stadium. Asuka has taken part in master classes with:Eugene Asti, Robin Bowman, Richard Jackson, Malcolm Martineau, Paul Hamburger. Jane Manning and Madame Larissa Gergieva sponsored by Friends of the Mariinsky Theatre. She sang in the chorus under James Lockhart, Charles Dutoit, Masaaki Suzuki (Bach Collegium Japan), Helmut Rilling (Festival Ensemble Stuttgart). Recently she took part in the City of London Festival as a recitalist. The future engagements includes another Master Class with Madame Larissa Gergieva this Summer and Miss Silver-Peal (Mozart: Impresario). Despina (Mozart: Cosi fan tutte) and St. James, Piccadilly in August.

The Ibuki Trio


Kan Tomita

Kan Tomita — piano
A Japanese pianist Kan Tomita is recognized as one of the most exciting rising performers of his generation with numerous international awards and prizes to his credit. Since his concerto début at the Royal Festival Hall at the age of 15, he has been active as both soloist and chamber musician performing in the UK and Europe as well as Japan; where his recent performances have been praised by music critics as “superb technical accomplishment and poetry…stunning” (“Ongaku-no Tomo” Music Magazine, May 2007 Japan). Future engagements include series of concerts with his Ibuki Trio throughout the year, a further recital tour of Japan in April 2009, as well as performances with his wife as the Tomita Piano Duo. Alongside his performing career, Kan has been actively involved in music education for young talent. He became the first Japanese musician to be awarded the Parnell Pianist in Association Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music, where he worked as Assistant to the Head of Keyboard from 2005 until 2007. He now teaches at Hockerill Music College, St. Helen’s School and Thomas’s School, Fulham, as well as at the prestigious Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg as Assistant teacher.

Ben Wragg — violin
Born in London, Ben Wragg has established himself as one of the UK’s most promising young violinists. He has been described by the legendary Ruggiero Ricci as “technically and musically out of the ordinary…one of our most talented young violinists…one to watch” and praised by Musical Opinion Magazine for his “smooth creamy sound”. Trained at the Royal Academy of Music, London – with Mateja Marinkovic - and The Mozarteum, Salzburg – with Ruggiero Ricci - he has appeared in major concert halls throughout Europe and Asia including televised performances in a UNICEF Gala Concert, Munich and concert for HRH Prince Charles, St. James’s Palace. Radio performances include a live performance of popular pieces on BBC Radio 2, plus a performance and interview on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. Ben has been winner of The Concordia Foundation, Making Music Young Concert Artist Award, shortlisted for Park Lane Group Concert Series and selected for Making Music North West Classical Music Tours. He has been supported by The Countess of Munster Musical Fund, The Jerwood Foundation and The Jean Ginsburg Memorial Foundation. Ben lives in London with his wife (a cellist) and two children. He also studies and teaches the ancient art of Tai Chi Chuan.

Laura Anstee — cello
Laura Anstee studied cello at the Royal Academy of Music from the year 1997-2002 with Mats Lidstrom and Philip Sheppard. She was awarded a 1st class BMus degree as well as a Dip. Ram for her achievements as a postgraduate student. She has since been performing as a freelance professional with ensembles such as the Goldberg, Kokoro and Belmont Ensembles as well as the New London Soloists and Opera Group. Whilst also being a member of the Lerato string quartet and Ibuki trio Laura is active in London’s burgeoning World music scene. She plays the cello and Cretan lyra in the duo Folkology which plays music from eastern Europe and the Balkans. She also performs traditional Greek and Turkish music with Troia Nova as well as Gypsy and Tango music with Kosmos, a quartet comprising of two violins and accordion. Aside from performing traditional music from Eastern Europe Laura plays cello in Afro-Peruvian quartet Calle Limon, percussion with the Fire Collective’s samba bateria, Rhythms of the City and cello with the Alkram Khan dance company who have produced Indian influenced contemporary dance pieces Zero Degrees and Sacred Monsters with dancers Sylvie Guillem, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Akram Khan.

Free admission

Venue: St James's Church Piccadilly

St James Piccadilly (photo: Steve Cadman)

The church interior (photo: Steve Cadman)

St James's is an Anglican church which was designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century. William Blake was baptised here in 1757. The church holds regular concerts of both classical and contemporary music.

The church is situated between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street about 200 yards from Piccadilly Circus. The closest tube stations are Piccadilly Circus and Green Park.

For more information, visit the St James's Church website.


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