Academics     Alumni     Art Gallery     Arts     Athletics     Community     Construction     Deaths     Emergency     Experts     Facilities     
Faculty     Giving     Incubator     International     Music     Performances     Research     Seniors     Speakers     Special Events     Students     
Summer     Sustainability     Theatre     Vitae     

News Releases from SUNY Fredonia

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

Marimba virtuoso will give two concerts in June
Thursday, June 13, 2013

Japanese marimba virtuoso, Keiko Abe, performs at 2012 Fredonia Marimba Academy with her students. Sensei Abe will give public performances at Fredonia June 17 & 21.

The SUNY Fredonia School of Music is delighted to present the second annual Keiko Abe Marimba Academy on the Fredonia campus, June 17-21.  Hailed by The New York Times as “a rare virtuoso,” Japanese marimba artist Keiko Abe is regarded world-wide as the leading marimba master of our time, and will spend five days working with Academy participants in master classes and giving public concerts. The Opening Concert of the Academy will take place on Monday, June 17 at 8 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall.

This opening ceremony will feature Keiko Abe performing her own compositions, and the evening will take a musical journey through the development of the history of the marimba, with performances by the SUNY Fredonia Mexican Marimba Ensemble and the Gyil Ensemble. 

Sensei Abe will also perform Friday, June 21 on the closing concert, along with the most advanced members of the Academy, who are chosen by Keiko Abe herself during the week as a special honor for the best students. A spectacular showcase highlighting Keiko Abe and the most advanced participants, the  Friday evening concert will feature rare performances of arrangements of Keiko Abe’s repertoire.

Tickets are available online at or by phone at 716-673-3501.  Tickets will be available at the door if not sold out in advance. Receptions will be held after each performance.

Always a pioneer in the music world, Keiko Abe has that rare combination of virtuosic technical talent and extraordinary musical sensitivity.  By both pioneering new technical skills and expanding the literature, Keiko Abe has transformed what was once considered a primitive “Folk” instrument into a full-fledged concert instrument welcome in any of the most prestigious concert halls.  In addition to her work as Professor of Marimba at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Abe maintains a full schedule of composing and touring.  Sensei Abe was at the fore of the development of the concert grand five octave marimba, consulting and guiding the development of the first concert grand five octave marimba that set the standard for the current state-of-the art instruments that we embrace today. 

“Keiko Abe’s presence on our campus last summer was truly life changing.  She enriched the cultural life of our students, our community, and many other participants who attended the Academy and we are confident that this will be another innovative and inspiring week,” said Kay Stonefelt, SUNY Fredonia percussion professor and lead organizer of the Keiko Abe Academy.    “While Abe brings with her the highest degree of performance and the very essence of Japanese marimba music, she also brings an enthusiasm for life and a dedication to excellence that is undeniably infectious.” 

During the 1960s and 80s, Sensei Abe gained attention and respect for exploring and bringing to public attention the works of Japanese composers such as Miyoshi, Ishii, Sukegawa, Takemitsu, Miki, and Tanaka.  A member of the Percussive Arts Hall of Fame, Keiko Abe has developed her own style of composition that is regularly performed in concert halls around the world. 

A truly international event, the Academy is drawing students from Japan, Peru, Taiwan, and China, as well as from various locations in the US. The 20+ participants will attend workshops and performances with Keiko Abe and her collaborative teachers.  The Academy will feature morning sessions addressing specific issues of marimba performance and history offered by Rebecca Kite, marimba artist, historian, and author of the book that details the life and music of Keiko Abe; active sessions in Mexican Marimba Ensemble offered by Tiffany Nicely of the Fredonia percussion faculty; a presentation by Larry Dubill, Fredonia alum, who studied Japanese marimba music with Keiko Abe in Japan through an international grant; and opportunities to participate in Dagara gyil (the traditional xylophone of the Dagara that may have started the whole marimba movement through Mexico to present day) ensemble, led by Matthew Aubuef, who has studied for several summers in Ghana and at Fredonia with Bernard Woma.

In addition to the importance of the Fredonia Keiko Abe Academy, there is a rich history and series of connections that tie this marimba master to SUNY Fredonia.  According to SUNY Fredonia Percussion Professor Emeritus, Ted Frazeur, SUNY Fredonia was the first college campus on which Keiko Abe ever performed, which was during the 1980s.  In the US, the first Keiko Abe Master Class/Workshop was a privately sponsored event, organized by Kay Stonefelt and Rebecca Kite in New Harmony, Indiana, in 1985. 

The Keiko Abe Academy at SUNY Fredonia is generously supported by: Yamaha International Corporation, Fred W. Boelter, Christian R. Granger '66, the SUNY Fredonia School of Music,  the Fredonia College Foundation’s Carnahan-Jackson Humanities Fund, Fredonia Student Association, and Percussion Guild.   For more information about the Keiko Abe Academy, visit

Share on Facebook

Previous Page | Next Page

News by year

2014        2013       
2012        2011       
2010        2009       
2008        2007       
2006        2005       

News by month

July 2014 (3)
June 2014 (10)
May 2014 (25)
April 2014 (68)
March 2014 (43)
February 2014 (42)
January 2014 (24)
December 2013 (26)
November 2013 (33)
October 2013 (72)
September 2013 (62)
August 2013 (23)
July 2013 (1)
June 2013 (13)
May 2013 (18)
April 2013 (70)
March 2013 (62)
February 2013 (54)
January 2013 (32)
December 2012 (20)
November 2012 (37)
October 2012 (71)
September 2012 (54)
August 2012 (23)
July 2012 (10)
June 2012 (5)
May 2012 (21)
April 2012 (66)
March 2012 (55)
February 2012 (62)
January 2012 (34)
December 2011 (21)
November 2011 (41)
October 2011 (52)
September 2011 (51)
August 2011 (23)
July 2011 (10)
June 2011 (15)
May 2011 (32)
April 2011 (62)
March 2011 (59)
February 2011 (60)
January 2011 (24)
December 2010 (23)
November 2010 (48)
October 2010 (48)
September 2010 (52)
August 2010 (22)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (8)
May 2010 (36)
April 2010 (75)
March 2010 (57)
February 2010 (58)
January 2010 (21)
December 2009 (19)
November 2009 (54)
October 2009 (63)
September 2009 (51)
August 2009 (27)
July 2009 (5)
June 2009 (11)
May 2009 (38)
April 2009 (77)
March 2009 (57)
February 2009 (54)
January 2009 (36)
December 2008 (34)
November 2008 (45)
October 2008 (52)
September 2008 (45)
August 2008 (14)
July 2008 (11)
June 2008 (10)
May 2008 (35)
April 2008 (56)
March 2008 (45)
February 2008 (33)
January 2008 (23)
December 2007 (23)
November 2007 (29)
October 2007 (36)
September 2007 (19)
August 2007 (10)
July 2007 (1)
June 2007 (10)
May 2007 (13)
April 2007 (29)
March 2007 (26)
February 2007 (22)
January 2007 (7)
December 2006 (11)
November 2006 (28)
October 2006 (29)
September 2006 (31)
August 2006 (17)
July 2006 (2)
June 2006 (7)
May 2006 (17)
April 2006 (19)
March 2006 (33)
February 2006 (20)
January 2006 (4)
December 2005 (3)
November 2005 (5)
October 2005 (2)

Arts on Campus

Fredonia alumni and faculty shine at Artie Awards

It was a great night for Fredonia Department of Theatre and Dance alumni and faculty at the 24th Annual Artie Awards held on June 2 at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo. The Arties is Buffalo’s annual celebration of its theatre season, a time to acknowledge the contributions of actors, designers and theatre companies in the city, and also a fundraising event for the Erie County Medical Center Immunodeficiency Services.

Read more.

Signups begin for Fredonia children's drama day camp
Signups begin for Fredonia children's drama day camp

The world of dramatic arts will come alive for area children who join the annual Playground Drama Day Camp at Rockefeller Arts Center at Fredonia. The first camp, for children ages 11 to 18, will be staged Aug. 11 to 16, the second session, for ages 7 to 12, runs Aug 18 to 23.

Read more.

Fredonia to offer ‘Intensive’ Shakespeare camp for students
Fredonia to offer ‘Intensive’ Shakespeare camp for students

The Midsummer Shakespeare Intensive, a unique, all-inclusive overnight camp for students, ages 15 and up, which focuses on the works of William Shakespeare, will be conducted July 20-26 at Fredonia’s College Lodge. Morning studio sessions will focus on acting, voice and movement, while afternoon and evening sessions will be devoted to stage combat, rehearsals and Shakespearean master classes.

Read more.

Fredonia to host week-long student film production workshop
Fredonia to host week-long student film production workshop

A casting and crew call is being issued for Action Film Workshops, an introduction to digital media production, that the State University of New York at Fredonia Department of Theatre and Dance will host for students, ages 13 and up, at Rockefeller Arts Center from July 28 through Aug. 2. For more information or to obtain registration materials, contact

Read more.

Concerto Competition winners announced

The School of Music has announced the winners of the 2014 Concerto Competition including saxophonist Joseph Bennett, soprano Margaret van Norden and pianist Callen Lange. The event was held Sunday, May 4, in King Concert Hall.

Read more.