Sakata Seizan

Seizan Sakata studied shakuhachi under Seizan Jinno and Living National Treasure Hanzan Shimabara. Awarded the bronze medal at the 1969 World Music Festival Competition, he has performed extensively throughout Japan, the United States, and Europe, including solo appearances with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. In addition to serving as President of AURA-J he directs the Chiba Hôgaku Ensemble, Tokyo Hôgaku Ensemble, and Kanagawa Hôgaku Ensemble. Of Sakata’s playing, critic Togashi Yasushi writes: “It can be said that Seizan Sakata stands out among the many shakuhachi performers in Japan. The sound quality of his playing is outstanding, sophisticated, and simultaneously rough but smooth. Even when he plays with a strong breath, the sound is not unrefined, but soft. In the high register the sound is rich and bright, while his middle register is sweet enough to melt the listener’s heart. Furthermore, the sound of his low register fascinates the listener with great power and dignity.”