Nyoraku Schlefer, Shakuhachi Grand Master
Called "A Master of the Shakuhachi" by
The New York Times, James Nyoraku Schlefer is a leading performer
and teacher of shakuhachi in New York City. He received the Dai-Shi-Han
or Grand Master's Certificate in 2001. In Japan he has worked with
Aoki Reibo, Yokoyama Katsuya, Yoshio Kurahashi, Yoshinobu Taniguchi,
and Mitsuhashi Kifu and his primary teacher in New York was Ronnie
Nyogetsu Seldin. He holds a Master's degree in Western flute &
musicology from Queens College and currently teaches music history
courses at the City University of New York. He has performed at
Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewoods Ozawa Hall,
BAM, the World Financial Center, and the Metropolitan, Brooklyn
and Philadelphia Museums. Schlefer has three solo recordings,
Wind Heart (which travelled 120,000,000 miles aboard the Space
Station MIR) Solstice Spirit (1998,) and Flare Up
(2002.) His music has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered.
Nyoraku is a member of the Japanese Sankyoku Ensemble East, which
has performed and lectured at the Juilliard School, Manhattan and
Eastman Schools of Music, Vassar, Haverford, Moravian, Colby-Sawyer,
Hunter and Wellesley Colleges, SUNY New Paltz, and at music festivals
in the US, Asia and Europe.
Schlefer began his musical career as a Western
flutist and continues to perform on this instrument. A dedicated
and respected teacher, Nyoraku Sensei is head of the Kyo-Shin-An
teaching studio in New York City. He has edited books of traditional
notation and written an etude book for shakuhachi technical development.
He has composed several works for solo shakuhachi and shakuhachi
ensemble, including a grant from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable
Trust for a new work to accompany dance, and a commission for an
orchestral work with shakuhachi and koto to be premiered in 2005.