Shuko Watanabe received her early musical training in Japan. She attended the Kunitachi School of Music from 1968 to 1971 then followed this with three years of study with renowned Japanese pianist, Shuku Iwasaki. In 1974 Watanabe entered the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland as a scholarship student under Lillian Freundlich, completing her Bachelor and Master of music degrees in piano performance. She later earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park, where she studied with professors Stewart Gordon, Roy Hamlin Johnson and Ray Luck.
Her dissertation "Tradition and Synthesis: Influences on the Solo Piano Works of 34 Japanese Composers Surveyed" (704 pp) dealt extensively with the ethnomusicological aspects of traditional Japanese music as well as with contemporary Western-style compositions by Japanese composers. Her article, "Japanese Music: An East-West Synthesis" has been published in American Music Teacher, the official magazine of the Music Teachers National Association.
Dr. Watanabe is engaged frequently as a soloist, chamber-music performer, and as a lecturer. She has appeared in Japan and throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West, and Southern United States. Her performances have been regularly broadcast on Public Radio, WVTF FM 89.1. Her recent professional credits include lectures and performances at Bellarmine College (Kentucky), Brenau University (Georgia), Elon College (CMS; North Carolina), George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), Great Falls Concert Series (Virginia), Guilford College (CMS; NC), Hamilton College (New York), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Wesleyan University, University of Memphis (SCI; Tennessee), Northern Virginia Community College, University of Pennsylvania (SCI), State University College at Potsdam (New York), Radford University (Virginia), Roanoke College (Virginia), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Washington and Lee University (Virginia), West Virginia University (CMS), Central Virginia & Roanoke Valley Music Teachers Association, Music at St. Patrick's (Washington, D.C.), Eldbrooke Artist Series (Washington, D.C.), the "Con Spirito" Concert Series (Virginia), and with the University-Rockbridge Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1.
In demand as a lecturer on musical topics, especially those related to Japanese contemporary music, Dr. Watanabe has been invited on two occasions to deliver lectures at the symposium, Music of Japan Today: Tradition and Innovation I (1992) & II (1994), held at Hamilton College in New York. These two lectures are now published by Hamilton College. Watanabe was a presenter on Japanese composers at the 29th National Conference of the Society of Composers Inc. at the University of Memphis, Tennessee. She was also selected to deliver a paper for the 1993 & 1996 annual meetings of the College Music Society, Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Currently recently served a second term as Secretary/Treasurer for the CMS Mid-Atlantic Chapter.
Dr. Watanabe has served at Peabody as a personal assistant to Mrs. Lillian Freundlich, taught at Hollins College, Virginia (1982-1991), and is currently a Lecturer in Music at Washington & Lee University. She was also guest instructor at the Firespark Summer Camp hosted by Brenau University, Georgia and taught for several years at Roanoke College. She is the former Music Director of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke, Virginia, where she founded the "Con Spirito" Concert Series. Dr. Watanabe is also a past member of the Board of Directors and former Artistic Director of the Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke, Virginia.
Professor, Department of Music, Washington and Lee University ◊ Website: music.wlu.edu/watanabe.htm ◊ E-Mail email@example.com
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