Violin graduate major from Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo under the supervision of the renowned teachers the late Professor Toshiya Etoh and Mrs. Angela Etoh.
Studied Hardanger Violin under the late Hallvard Kvaale - a famous fiddle player in Norway.
Appeared on numerous major television broadcasts in Japan such as NHK’s Good Morning from Studio Park and Ittorokken, and in the culture sections of major newspapers such as the Asahi Shimbun column Tenseijingo and in Nikkei Shimbun. Introduced in Norwegian media as “The first Japanese professional Hardanger Violinist”.
Released the CD “Golden Aurora” on Victor Entertainment.
Composed and performed music for Studio Ghibli and its famous director Hayao Miyazaki on the short film Monmon the Water Spider, and played the Hardanger Fiddle on the full-length Studio Ghibli animation movie Tales from Earthsea.
For over 10 years she has been highly regarded for her work introducing Norwegian classical music in Japan, and also toured extensively in various parts of Scandinavia.
Appointed chairman of the Japan Hardanger Club (JHC ) in 2009 - an organization with the purpose of introducing Scandinavian Culture to Japan.
Started a scholarship in 2011 with the purpose to send 2 exchange students every year to the Hardanger region to study and learn about Norwegian music and culture.
Plays Hardanger Violin on the main theme for the upcoming (2013) film Aoki ga Hara, for which Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara is executive director and has written the original manuscript.
At the present time she continues a wide range of musical activities and lectures, including teaching Violin and Hardanger Violin at the Suwayama Music Academy.
Piano graduate major from Tokyo University of the Arts(also graduated from the high school attached to the same university).
3rd Prize at the International 'Finale Ligure' Piano Competition in Italy (no 1st prize winner was elected)
1st prize in the Sakura-Pia Newcomers award
Diploma for excellent accompaniment at the 2004 International Instrumental Competition Markneukirchen.
Piano Solo and accompaniment on the CD releases “Crystal Rose Garden”and “Violin of the land of the Northern lights”.
Performed at the “Rio Yamase Grieg Memorial Concert” hosted by the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo.
Performed at the Grieg Memorial Concert tour “A gift from Scandinavia”
Has performed at several events hosted by the Norwegian Embassy and the Scandinavian tourist board, and continuous, extensive tours to promote Scandinavian music and culture in Japan.
Half Norwegian and Japanese.
Studied Hardanger Violin under the late Hallvard Kvaale and is now studying under Rio Yamase.
In addition to playing the Hardanger violin, she is singing in the traditional Norwegian folk songs style and performs Scandinavian nursery rhymes and lullabies.
Besides numerous concert appearances in Japan and Norway, she has also appeared in a number of national television broadcasts both in Norway and Japan.
She sang a solo on the 2007 CD “Violin of the land of the Northern lights” released in connection with the Grieg memorial year, and her performance on the Norwegian Fjord Cruise event hosted by the Scandinavian Tourist Board was very well received.
She is currently enrolled in the study program at the Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology at Waseda University.
Being fluent in English and Japanese she also works as a translator/interpreter and teaches Norwegian to JHC students.
Aurora Quintet is a group established with the purpose to focus their musical vitality and energy on cultural exchange activities between Scandinavia and Japan. The group has a repertoire spanning a range of historical periods and musical styles ranging from the folk and popular songs of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, to the popular songs of Japan, and their own originals as well. They intrduce the trip, the life and the culture of Scandinavia, and also incorporate various folk dances in their program. Let's listen to the Scandinavian folk instrument "Hardanger violin", and the "Aurora sound" created by piano and song of Japanese and Scandinavian musicians.
Official Homepage: http://hardanger-club.or.jp/aurora.html
This trio was established by Rio Yamase and consists of 3 Hardanger violin players playing Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun melodies. They started their activities in 2008 and have performed numerous events for the Scandinavian Tourist Board, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Royal Embassy of Denmark, and the Royal Embassy of Sweden.
In 2010 they performed at the “World Dance Festival” and received the Cultural Exchange award for their performance.
The sound of the Hardanger Violin is peculiar to this music and delivers an authentic “Northern” sound.
This second group within Rion Music extends their range of activities to include welfare facilities.
Unlike the ordinary Violin, the sound of the Hardanger Violin has a special “Northern Pathos” - a melancholy and warmth that cannot be found in any other folk instrument ? which, performed in a friendly and familiar environment can provide healing power and comfort to the listeners.
The group's wide-reaching repertoire includes traditional folk dances and Scandinavia-inspired dances. They have had numerous successful performances together with Rio Yamase. Be sure to come and watch these gorgeous women and their fantastic show!
The world-renowned Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg also loved the Hardanger violin - the national instrument of Norway. This instrument - which originated in the Hardanger region and is called “Hardingfele” in the native tongue - has a decorative floral inscription along the body. Mother-of-pearl is applied on the neck and a dragon’s head mounted on the top (an important symbol for the Vikings in their mythology) gives a unique finish to this peculiar instrument. The instrument is very similar to the violin, though with eight or nine strings (rather than four as on a standard violin). Four of the strings are strung and played like a violin, while the rest are sympathetic- or resonant -strings under the influence of the other four, providing a warm and melancholy haunting, echo-like sound - unique to Norway. In Hardanger it is considered a sacred/traditional instrument used on formal, ceremonial, occasions, but in recent years a lot of young artists all over Norway have started to incorporate it into other musical genres as well. Edvard Grieg, who also is a very popular composer in Japan, has left many masterpieces influenced by this particular sound.
This instrument is thought to be one of the oldest musical instruments in the world. A musician apparently playing it can be seen in a Chinese drawing from the 4th century BC. Norway has a long tradition of playing the Mouth harp and it stretches far back in time. It is believed that it was brought from Asia around 500 AD with nomads and Cossacks, and that the Vikings brought it to Norway.
Today, ‘Setesdalen’ has one of the most vivid and richest painting tradition in Norway, but also in ‘Hallingdalen’ and ‘Valdres’ have the instrument been much in use. The Norwegian Mouth harp is called “Munnharpe” and is made out of metal.
Is a Norwegian folk flute.
Modern willow flutes are typically made of plastic, but the original willow flutes were made from sections of bark cut from green willow branches. Willow flutes could only be made this way during the spring, and became unplayable when the bark dried out.
In ancient times the instrument was used in the vast villages of mid/south Norway when the shepherd wanted to kill time while watching over his herd. Along with the changing times the usage also changed, and it became more and more common to incorporate it in song- and dance ?music. There is also a repertoire for playing with the Hardanger fiddle.
The willow flute is a type of overtone flute played by varying the force of the air blown into the mouthpiece, with the end of the tube being covered by the finger or left open.
It is claimed that since the willow flute probably is the oldest Norwegian folk music instrument, the ‘nature scale’ has become the basis of Norwegian folk music - and its characteristic sound - in general.