Prague Shakuhachi Summer School ‘09
14.-18.08 2009 Novoměstská radnice, Praha

Prague Shakuhachi Summer School is an important European shakuhachi event which apart from masterclasses and lectures by professional artists offers a variety of concerts and performances. Its scope encompasses traditional, as well as, contemporary art.


In 2009 it will feature these guest shakuhachi players:

Keisuke Zennyoji -

Began shakuhachi studies at age 6 under father, a disciple of Jin Nyodo.

  • 1976 Continued studies with Okazaki Jishu, also a disciple of Jin Nyodo.
  • 1988 Graduated from Tokyo University of Fine Arts, BFA (shakuhachi major).
  • 1990 Graduated with Master's degree from Tokyo University of Fine Arts, Graduate School.

At the university, he studied with Living National Treasure Yamaguchi Goro.

1991, 92, 95, 96 Taught as lecturer at Tokyo University of Fine Arts

Zenyoji presently leads the group, Hyakusenkai.

Christopher Yohmei Blasdel – Began studies of shakuhachi with Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi in 1972. Graduated with MFA in ethnomusicology from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and awarded professional name "Yohmei" and shihan ranking from Yamaguchi in 1984. Records, teaches and performs widely in Japan and around the world. One of the few masters of the traditional Kinko Style shakuhachi, Yohmei also performs contemporary music and collaborates with various artists.

Dr. Jim Franklin –  studied shakuhachi in Australia witH Riley Lee. In 1996, and after prior visits to Japan, Jim received a scholarship which allowed him to study with Katsuya Yokoyama and his senior students in the Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan, including Teruo Furuya. In December 1996 Jim received his 'shihan'-licence from Yokoyama-sensei. Concurrent with his shakuhachi studies, Jim has continued his activities as a composer, with commissioned works and performances in various countries, including intermedia works with visual artists. In 1998 he was awarded the degree of PhD from Sydney University for his compositional and theoretical work focussing on shakuhachi.

Dr. Vlastislav Matoušek - studied Composition and post-gradual courses in Musical Theory at the Academy of Performing Arts, the Faculty of Music in Prague where he has been teaching ethnomusicology since 1991. There he received his Ph.D. degree in theory of composition. Six months as a fellow of Japan Foundation he studied shakuhachi  playing at Master Kifu Mitsuhashi and Japanese Traditional Music at Prof. Osamu Yamaguti in Japan (1996).

As a soloist concert performer he mainly plays honkyoku – traditional pieces for Japanese bamboo flute, shakuhachi He is an art-director and a conductor of his contemporary music Ensemble 108 Hz which presents experimental music and his own compositions for voices and other even exotic and folk instruments from his personal extensive collection, often in combination with electronics.

Haruko Watanabe -  is a Grand Master of Seiha Hogaku Kai, Ikuta School, and is active in a wide range of music performance beyond the Japanese music genre. Watanabe has performed throughout Japan since 1989, in China and in Australia. She is currently the director of koto Ensamble "Aya no Kai" and head of the Ehime-Branch of Pro Musica Nipponia. Watanabe will not only appear in concert, but help out in the sankyoku class.

Guest performers for 2009 are:

Nao Higano (singer) – opera singer currently residing in Slovakia; for five years she was a stable guest at the opera of Slovak National Theatre


Electro-ambient formation working with pre-sampled music which is complemented through use of various acoustic and electronic sounds and noises live on stage.


Legendary ensamble dedicated to meditation music was founded in 1979 and has kept its original shape to this day. Influenced by the music of India, each member incorporated some of its aspects to his playing or even took up an Indian instrument. Perception, mutual understanding amd joyful communication transcend onto listeners

members: Jiří Mazánek, Karel Babuljak, Vlastislav Matoušek

The Summer School will start in the evening of 14th August with a concert and opening of exhibition which will be the result ofpreceding Creative Workshop of shakuhachi and new media artists. Wine and typical Japanese refreshments will be served.
Following days of the event will all include day-long shakuhachi masterclasses, a yoga lesson, an academic lecture and a concert. Thus, there will be five concerts alltogether, including the student concert at the end of the event. Their genres will span from contemporary electronic to traditional Japanese music.
Site of the Summer School is a building from 14th Century, the New Town town-hall; located in Prague city centre it offers Summer School’s participants a large variety of places to stay (suitable for all budgets) to choose from. Their list will be published on Summer School’s web site,


Participant fee for early applicants is 140 EURO and includes entrance to all Summer School’s events including concerts and the exhibition. Accommodation and food is not included.