GREENCASTLE -- Flutist Mihoko Watanabe, a faculty member at the Ball State University School of Music, makes her first Greencastle appearance in today's 7:30 p.m. Greencastle Summer Classical Music Festival concert. The Festival presents free programs every Wednesday evening through August 19 in the sanctuary of Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.
Also performing are pianist Nariaki Sugiura and cellists Yeon-Ji Yun and Eric Edberg. Music of Weber, Menotti, Martinu, and Piazzolla will form the program, which the four artists performed last week in Bloomington.
"The artist originally scheduled to perform had to cancel for personal reasons," Edberg, the festival's director, explains, "and it happened that all four of us are available this Wednesday. It's a great program, with a Suite for Two Cellos and Piano by Menotti, trios for Flute, Cello, and Piano by Weber and Martinu, and a solo flute piece by Piazzolla."
Dr. Watanabe, a native of Japan, was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Flute and a member of Musical Arts Woodwind Quintet at Ball State University starting August 2008. Prior to joining the School of Music, Dr. Watanabe taught at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Windsor, Canada.
A celebrated and versatile international performer, Dr. Watanabe has completed successful tours of Japan, Israel and Canada as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. As a member of TRIO PIACERE (flute, cello, piano), she toured Japan In summer of 2006 and recently Trio Piacere was invited to perform at the Fox River Music Festival (WI). As a member of DUO VIVA (Two Flutes Duo), she released first CD, "Doppler Effect (Little Piper)," at the National Flute Association Convention in 2006. Duo Viva was invited to perform at the NFA in New Mexico (2007) and Kansas City (2008). As an orchestral player, she has held principle flute positions in orchestras in North America. She is currently the principal flutist with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra (IN). Also, she was the winner of both Japan Flute Association competition as well as the National Flute Association competition in the U.S.
She also enthusiastically premiers new works for flute. As a pedagogue, Dr. Watanabe has taught numerous master classes throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan, and has adjudicated international music festivals and competitions. In 2005, she joined the faculty of the Brevard Music Center summer festival, where she played flute and piccolo with the BMC orchestra, taught in master classes, and coached various chamber music groups.
Along with being a gifted flutist, Dr. Watanabe is also devoted to the study of ethnomusicology, with a focus on Japanese traditional music, in particular. As such, she studied Ethnomusicology at the University of Michigan. She received the Faculty Development Grant to research Japanese traditional perspectives on Kazuo Fukushima's Mei for solo flute in Japan. In 2007, she was invited to give a lecture recital titled "Essence of MEI" and to perform at the National Flute Association (NFA) Convention. Also, it became a feature article on Spring 2008 issue of the official journal of the National Flute Association, Flutist Quarterly.