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Mihoko Suzuki

Mihoko Suzuki conceives and composes multidisciplinary works including opera, music-theater, ballet, film, and sound-art installation. In her dramatic works, Mihoko explores the complex and often contradictory relationship between humans and the natural world; “Litany for the Animals”—an multimedia opera/oratorio; “This World”—a song cycle with live audio manipulation of amplified water; “To the Dogs”—a visual-auditory ritual dedicated to 33 death row dogs at NYC Animal Care Center.

Mihoko has also collaborated in dance works such as “Sideshows by the Seashore”—with choreographer James Sutton which won the Columbia Artists-National Choreography Competition; “Jessica Finds Her Way”—a dance film with cinematographer Valerie Barnes, starring Jessica Saund (American Ballet Theatre) featured at Les Instants Vidéo festival in Marseille.

 In 2011, Mihoko was honored to contribute a piece for the memorial ceremony of Wangari Maathai—the Kenyan environmentalist Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Her musical setting of Alice Walker’s poem “We Have a Beautiful Mother” was performed by Musica Sacra under the direction of Kent Tritle at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Mihoko’s latest film score: “Desert Widow”—a performance art video by Jil Guyon—has won an Accolade Film Award and the Best Experimental Film at the Women & Fashion Film Festival. The video work has also been featured at Migrations Dance Film Festival, U.K, Cinedanse Quebec, Canada as well as San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

Mihoko is a recipient of the 2013 New York Foundation for the Arts: NYFA Fellowship in music/sound and Shelley Pinz Professional Development Award. Her piece for piano 4 hands “Ode to Number 14” was featured in The NYFA Collection CD last year, celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Artists’ Fellowship Program. A native of Japan, Mihoko studied piano at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, and composition at the Manhattan School of Music, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree. 

Bhavacakra

A chamber ensemble work—written for saxophone, electric guitar, cello, bass, piano, and drums/marimba—was awarded a 2013 Artists’ Fellowship by New York Foundation for the Arts in the category of music/sound. “Bhavacakra” (Sanskrit for “cycle of existence”) incorporates the essences of Prog Rock and Fusion in sonata-form developing through intensely driven thematic transitions—as such characteristics of Beethoven. This piece is dedicated to the memory of my brother, who passed away a few years ago.

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Ode to Number 14

A piece for piano 4 hands, commissioned and premiered last year by the piano duo SaNaToMa in Alberta, Canada. Mihoko wrote this piece in a form of “dedication” to her upper maxillary first molar (#14) which put her through a harrowing year-long treatment. The piece was featured in The NYFA Collection CD last year, celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Artists’Fellowship Program. This recording includes recitation of a Japanese poem by Kenji Miyazawa “Ame nimo makezu” (Be Not Defeated by the Rain).

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