Teachers & Composers





Kaoru Kakizakai is one of the main disciples of Katsuya Yokoyama starting his studies in 1982.

He has appeared in several of the audio and video projects of Yokoyama sensei and taught and performed in most of the Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan events since 1994.

Kakizakai sensei is one of the regular instructors and players for the Rocky Shakuhachi Camp in Colorado, USA as well as the Australian Shakuhachi Festival (since its first edition in 1999).

He has performed the works of Toru Takemitsu regularly around the world since the year 2000 and has tour Europe in several occasions both teaching and performing classical/traditional Japanese music and contemporary music. In 2002 and 2009 he released two CDs dedicated to Koten Honkyoku Music.

He is currently lecturer at the Tokyo College of Music and full time Instructor for the Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan.

More information at: http://www.kakizakai.com


John Kaizan Neptune brings to the shakuhachi a new and dynamic sound and feeling entirely his own.



A California-born American, Neptune received his master’s certificate in the Tozan School of Shakuhachi in 1977, at which time he was awarded the name “Kaizan” (“Sea Mountain”).

He is the author of the book SHAKUHACHI, and has performed and recorded in many countries around the world.  His second album, BAMBOO, was named Outstanding Record of the Year by the Cultural Affairs Agency of the Japanese Ministry of Education; subsequent albums (23 to date) and his concerts throughout Japan, Asia, Australia, America, and Europe have made his original music, from traditional Japanese to contemporary jazz, widely know and loved by people of all ages.

Neptune, who is acknowledged to be among the top masters of the instrument in Japan, now lives in Kamogawa, Chiba-ken, where he continues to make, write for and experiment with the instrument he had adopted as his own.

More information at: http://www.pacificsites.net/~jneptune



Gunnar Jinmei Linder began to study the shakuhachi at his arrival to Japan in 1985 under the living national treasure Yamaguchi Gorō (1933–99) head of the Chikumeisha guild of Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi.



He received his MA degree as shakuhachi soloist in 1997 at the Tokyo National University of the Arts and received his traditional
license, shihan, and the name Jinmei (儘盟) from Yamaguchi sensei in 1998.

From 1997 to 2005 Gunnar was professionally active as performer and teacher of shakuhachi in Japan with frequent activities both in Europe and the US.

He moved back to his native Sweden in 2005 where is actively performing and teaching shakuhachi and working as Associate Professor in Japanese Studies at the Department of Oriental Languages of the Stockholm University conducting research in the traditional genres of Japanese music and a senior lecturer of shakuhachi at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

He has recorded several CDs, one instructional video/DVD and is author of the book Notes on Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi Honkyoku — Performance Techniques: Analysis, Classification, Explanation, as well as his PhD dissertation Deconstructing Tradition in Japanese Music: A Study of Shakuhachi, Historical Authenticity and Transmission of Tradition.

More information at: http://nipponicom.com/shakuhachi


Véronique Piron is a French flautist and a shakuhachi player who studied first under Yoshikazu Iwamoto in France and then in Japan with Furuya Teruo and Yokoyama Katsuya, from whom she received her shakuhachi Shihan (master’s licence) in 2002 while she was awarded a Lavoisier research grant from the French government. While in Japan, she also learned nohkan and shinobue from Nishikawa Kohei of the Ensemble Pro Nipponia.



She received a French State Diploma in 2004 and a Professor’s License in 2011, both for teaching Japanese traditional music.

Currently residing in Brittany, western France, Véronique teaches flute at a music conservatorium and since 1996 she has been organizing and teaching workshops to introduce the shakuhachi and Japanese music both independently and at different musical institutions. At present she teaches shakuhachi regularly in Paris and Brussels.

She has been participating in different European and International Shakuhachi events since 2002, and has been the secretary of the European Shakuhachi Society from its creation in 2006 until 2012.

Beside performing traditional Japanese music, she is focusing on new music, contemporary or creative, including a recent composition for shakuhachi and the French Flute Orchestra (by composer Rika Suzuki for the French Flute Convention in Paris) a creative duet with the pianist Lydia Domancich and a meeting with the Celtic wooden flute player Jean-Luc Thomas.

More information at: http://www.veroniquepiron.com/


Kiku Day is a ­jinashi shakuhachi player from Denmark with Japanese and American background. She gave up her studies in classical Western music on flute to study honkyoku (classic solo repertoire of the komusō monks of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism) with Okuda Atsuya in Japan for 11 years.



Day has since her return to Europe dedicated her life to the potential use of jinashi shakuhachi today. The jinashi shakuhachi is the older type of shakuhachi, only consisting of the raw untreated bamboo. Several composers from different parts of the world have written for her, among others: Takahashi Yūji, Roxanna Panufnik, Frank Denyer, Vytautas Germanavicius and Yumi Hara Cawkwell. She has performed with performers such as Fred Frith, Joanna MacGregor, Mats Gustafsson and Joëlle Léandre, and as a soloist with Odense Symphony Orchestra and with the Nonsuch Choir.

Day has a Phd. in ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London and has worked as an assistant professor at Aarhus University, Denmark.

She is a founding member of the European Shakuhachi Society for which she now serves as chairperson.

More information at: http://www.kikuday.com


Dr Jim Franklin is a master performer of the shakuhachi.



He initially studied composition and musicology in Australia, Germany and Holland. During his studies he encountered the shakuhachi, and was fascinated by it. After learning the instrument in Australia with Dr Riley Lee and in Japan with Furuya Teruo and Yokoyama Katsuya, he received the title Shihan (“master”) in 1996 from Yokoyama-sensei, and was thus officially licensed to teach and perform shakuhachi.

As a composer, Franklin is active in the areas of contemporary and electroacoustic music. He composes for shakuhachi solo and in combination with other instruments, and frequently performs projects with shakuhachi and live electronics, often in combination with dance and video art. The interface between shakuhachi and electronics, and shakuhachi and visual media, is a key area of interest.

In the area of solo shakuhachi, Franklin has specialized in the honkyoku of the school of Yokoyama Katsuya (Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan) and in modern music.

Since 2004 Franklin has lived in Germany. From 2006 to 2009 he was founding Chairperson of the European Shakuhachi Society.

More information: www.bambooheart.com


Fumie Hihara started to learn the koto with 9 years and the shamisen with 15 years. Qualified as a teacher of the koto and the shamisen, she graduated at Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music (specialized in the koto and shamisen performance and music).



After graduated, her main activity has been the solo performances as well as the collaborations with many kinds of Artists, performers and actors, starting to compose koto and shamisen music as well as to write lyrics. Fumie is involved in various koto and shamisen related projects such as restoration of ancient koto, performance to theatrical plays and films, and research about japanese ancient koto called “Haniwa-goto”.

Since 2004 she is an active performer in Europe, especially in France where she has played at places such as Opera Lyon, Festival Bourge, Palais de Congres, Musee Guimet, among others. Hihara has been teaching the koto and shamisen since 2006 in Paris, France.

She has recorded four CDs both in Japan and in France.

More information at: http://www.myspace.com/hiharafumie


Yoshie Sakai is a koto performer, composer and specialist in Japanese Traditional Arts.



She graduated in koto for the Miyagi Ikuta School of Tokyo more than 30 years ago (there she studied shamisen and jiuta as well) and since then she has been living and teaching Japanese culture in Spain. After her arrival she broaden her musical studies to western music with the piano, silver flute and singing.

Since then she has performed in several concerts and festivals in Spain, France, Italy and Japan. Has lectured and master classes in Universities and conservatories and has written music for TV commercials.

Besides her intense solo career, she has collaborated with musicians playing shakuhachi, clarinet, silver flute, guitar, violin, oud and baroque lute among others.
She has recorded together with other specialists the first world edition of the CD “La música en la era de las pirámides” (the music in the age of the Pyramids), both as singer and ancient Egyptian harp player.

In 2011 her first solo CD recorded and produced in Tokyo was published under the title “The Sound of Koto” ( -事の調べ-).

More information at: http://www.spainnetwork.com/yoshie




Vika Kleiman is an improvisational dancer, teacher of Yoga, Body Awareness and Psychologist.
She is full teacher for Body Awareness, movement and dance for musicians at the “Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya” (ESMUC).

Her interest on different aspects of the body brought her to different places of the world where she has nurtured from diverse movement techniques. In places such as Argentina, Japan, USA, Portugal, Thailand, India and Spain; She has studied Improvisation and creation, Feldenkrais, Authentic movement, Senso-percepción, Thai Massage, Contact improvisation, Butoh and body Weather. She was educated on different styles of Yoga: Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Nata yoga, Dinamic Yoga, and other styles of Hatha yoga in Argentina, USA, India and Japan.

She has danced and taught in several places in North and South America and Europe.
Living in Barcelona, she teaches, researches, dances and writes on different aspects of the body and develops a practice that is constantly changing.

More information: http://vikakleiman.blogspot.com





As a prolific composer, a virtuoso guitarist and an innovative researcher, Benjamin Dwyer’s creative and critical work extends from a broad base in performance and artistic practice.

Dwyer has given concerts worldwide and has appeared as soloist with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Neubrandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany), the Santos Symphony Orchestra (Brazil), VOX21, the Vogler String Quartet (Germany) and the Callino String Quartet (UK). His new CD (with the Callino Quartet), Irish Guitar Works, was released this May.

Dwyer’s music is deeply implicated in myth and symbol. This may be seen in works of his such as Umbilical (a setting of Oedipus the King), Scenes from Crow (after Ted Hughes’s Crow poems) and his Percussion Concert—Rajas, Sattva, Tamas (after Vedic philosophy).

Dwyer is an elected member of Aosdána and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London (ARAM). He earned a PhD in Composition from Queen’s University (Belfast), an MMus in Performance from the Royal Academy of Music (London), and a BMus (Hons) from Trinity College (Dublin). Benjamin Dwyer is Professor of Music at Middlesex University’s School of Media and Performing Arts.

For more information: www.benjamindwyer.com




He studied Art history at Barcelona University (UAB) and Music Theory and Composition at the Badalona Conservatory. He also studied electronic music in Phonos (Barcelona) and computer music at the IRCAM (Paris). He has received lessons and advice from Benet Casablancas, David Padrós, Joan Guinjoan, José Manuel López López and Jonathan Harvey.His works have been awarded recognition in several occasions: X Premi Internacional de Composició “Ciutat d’Alcoi” (Spain, 1995), Premio SGAE Jóvenes Compositores (Spain, 2000), Concurs Innovamusica (Andorra, 2008), Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award (USA, 2010).

His teaching activities in Barcelona include Conservatori del Liceu, Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and IES Joan Coromines.

From 2007 till 2011, he has been artistic director of the Contemporary Music Festival “Nous Sons” in L’Auditori (Barcelona).

For more information: www.josepmariaguix.com




He has studied at the Conservatori Superior de Música de Barcelona with pianist Antoni Besses, who said “Miquel is an
intelligent, deep and refined pianist”, and in Amberes with the pianist Frédéric Gevers. He finished his studies with
maximum qualifications and several prizes. He has received advices from Josep Maria Colom, Michel Béroff, and Pascal Devoyon among others.

He studies composition at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón (Zaragoza, Spain) under the direction of Agustí Charles, obtaining the degree in 2002. After, he receives classes from Ramon Humet, analyses courses with Carles Guinovart, Salvador Brotons, and Roy Howat.  He has received advice from Josep Soler and Benet Casablancas.

Oliu has written works for solo instruments, chamber music, and symphonic music. Today, together with composition, he develops a professional activity as a piano teacher at the Music Conservatoire of Vic (Barcelona, Spain).




Frances White composes instrumental and electronic music.  She has received awards, honors, commissions, and fellowships from organizations such as The Guggenheim Foundation, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the  Cary Charitable Trust, the Copland Fund, Prix Ars Electronica, the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, the International Computer Music Association, ASCAP, the Bang On A Can Festival, the Other Minds Festival, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the American Music Center,  the Fromm Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

Two CD collections of White’s chamber works are currently available: Centre Bridge, on the Mode label, and In the library of dreams from Pogus Productions.  Her music was featured as part of the soundtrack of three of Gus Van Sant’s award-winning films:  Elephant, Paranoid Park, and Milk.

White is a long-time student of the shakuhachi, and finds it an important influence on her compositional practice.   Much of her music is inspired by her love of nature, and her electronic works frequently include natural sound recorded near her home in central New Jersey.

For more information: www.rosewhitemusic.com




The music of composer Alexandra Gardner has been featured at festivals and venues worldwide, including performances at the Aspen Music Festival, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Centro de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Look and Listen Festival, Conservatory of Amsterdam, Beijing Modern Festival, The Library of Congress and The Kennedy Center. Her music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles and musicians such as Percussions de Barcelona, ACME, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, cellist Joshua Roman, saxophonist Brian Sacawa, NOW Ensemble, pianist Jenny Lin, Ne(x)tworks, and the Seattle Symphony.

Among Gardner’s honors and awards are recognitions from Meet the Composer, ASCAP, The American Music Center, American Composers Forum, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Maryland State Arts Council, Vassar College, The Netherland-America Foundation, the Open Meadows Foundation, the Prix Ton Bruynel and the Smithsonian Institution. She has been a composer-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and The MacDowell Colony. From 2002-2004 she was a visiting composer at the IUA/Phonos Foundation in Barcelona, Spain. Her music is recorded on Innova.

Alexandra attended the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University (M.M.) and Vassar College (B.A.). She currently resides in Baltimore, MD.

For more information: www.alexandragardner.net