Nobuko Baba

Nobuko. , one of the most well known koto players in Japan , began learning the instrument at the age of five, and obtained a master's certificate when she was 16 years old. While studying at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, she won the Ataka Award, which is given to the most promising students majoring in arts and music in this university. Upon graduating with a masters degree in Japanese music, she was selected among top candidates from the other universities of music to perform koto in the presence of the Imperial Family at Toka-gakudo in the Imperial Palace .
Beginning in 1991, when she led a group of musicians organized for the welcome performance of Michael Gorbachev, the former president of the USSR , she has made many special performances throughout Japan . She has played with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, William Bennett, and many more. She receives a lot of requests for koto performances from TV and radio stations because her performance style is not bound by conventional styles. In addition, she played an active role as one of the original members of KOTO-ZA, a performing ensemble . The first CD of “ KOTO-ZA ” was released from Victor Music Co., Ltd. This CD was most frequently used for TV and radio broadcastings. Within Japan , she gave koto performances at a number of different embassies. Today, she not only performs by herself, but also teaches at the Koto Academy , in order to raise young koto and shamisen players for the future.
She has an excellent reputation as a koto performer both domestically and internationally. Regarding her overseas activities, she has traveled to as many as 20 countries to perform. She visited Middle Eastern countries as a cultural delegate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and she performed in Russia , India , and various countries in Europe and Africa , through sponsorship by the Japan Foundation. In the United States , she played koto as a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan , and joined the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. Recently, she participated in a peace concert in Croatia , which was held for the first time after the war there. In addition she has performed together with an excellent flutist in many well-known musical festivals throughout the world.





Nobuko's Career

Entered National University of Fine Arts & Music, specializing in Koto
Honored with the At a ka Prize
Performed at a concert held at Toka-gakudo in the Imperial palace
Formed KOTO-ZA , the Koto ensemble.
Performed at a concert held in the hall of Se i shin Women's College, withPrincess Michiko in attendance
Graduated from National University of Fine Arts & Music graduate school.
Accepted position as Koto instructor at Michigan University.
Co-starred with the NHK ENSEMBLE ORCHESTRA in Hayama
On a goodwill mission at the request of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, hadconcert tours in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Iraq
Performed Koto for “Taketori Fable,” a narrative story; co-starred with a Kyogen actor, Mansai Nomura, at Shinjuku Mozart Salon
Performed Koto for “Taketori Fable,” a narrative story; co-starred with a Kyogen actor, Mansai Nomura, at Shinjuku Mozart Salon
Performed at “Kisetsu-fu”, the first live concert, held in the hall at Roppongi Pitt Inn
Played and conducted at the “Welcome Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev Concert,” held by the Japanese Government
Performed an ensemble for a play at Aoyama Round Theater.
Her CD “ KOTO-ZA” , was released by Victor Records .
Joined the recital of flutist William Bennet
Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Concert with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Co-starred with Mansai Nomura and puppeteer , Hiroshi Hori, at the Kamina-tsuki-yo Concert, for Kawasaki City's 70 th anniversary municipal administration at Kita-in Temple
Participated in Music Festivals in Denmark and Sweden, with flutist, Marie Lorenz Okabe, sponsored by the Sasagawa Fund
Performed KOTO-ZA for the Washington Cherry Blossom Festival
Concerts in India, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, sponsored by the Japanese Foundation of International Exchange
Made a presentation for the International Women's Association
Gave a charity performance for the Amnesty International Charity Concert
Appeared on “Tamori's TV Music Show” as a guest on Fuji TV Station,Channel 12
Joined “Arhus Music Festival” in Denmark, held concert in Italy, sponsored by the Sasagawa Fund
Charity concert for International volunteer Works in Refugee Camp
Performed with Koto-Kou-Kyo , an ensemble group, including Chinese zither player, Jiang Xiao Qing
Performed solo on the program, “An Afternoon Recital” played on NHK TV.
Performed for the Summit Graduates' Reunion in Akasaka, Tokyo
Concerts held for the embassies of Denmark, Germany, Italy, Russia, and more
Concert in Croatia held after the war; it was their first concert in many years; held in honor of the country's independence, sponsored by the Japan Foundation of International Exchange
Concert in Wagner's Memorial Hall in Latvia; joined the Music Fiesta in the city of Musik Dakar, in Sweden; Collaboration with Yoko Ono at the Denmark National Museum; sponsored by the Sasagawa Fund
Participated in “Talk and Music Concert” with composer, Junichi Kamiyama, and reviewer, Reiko Yukawa, held by the International Rotary Club
Performed at a concert in Vienna: The Society of Friends Of Music
Performed in the Great Hall of Liszt Music Academy, Hungary, with the Aichi Gakugei University Orchestra
Performed at the IVS International Viola Congress as the first Japanese player; concert tour in Finland, Russia, and Zambia; sponsored by the Japan Foundation of International Exchange
CD “KOTO Kirameki” released
Performed at a recital at the Enkakuji Temple
Formed “KOTOHIME,” the koto ensemble including a Chinese musician, a Korean musician, and herself, as the Japanese musician
Performed in the “Japan & China Friendship Concert” at Nogakudo, Yokohama, with flutist, Jiro Murayama, who plays the Japanese Shinobue flute
Performed in the “Japan & China Friendship Concert” at Nogakudo, Yokohama, with flutist, Jiro Murayama, who plays the Japanese Shinobue flute
Participated in the “Beautiful Life Concert”, co-starring with violinist Jung Chanwoo
Performed in the “Janz Coffee Morning Concert” at the New Zealand Embassy
Participated in Cellist Katsuo Shimizu's Memorial Concert with Prince and Princess Akishino-no-miya in attendance
Promoted and performed in the “Miyabi-no-shirabe Concert” in Meguro Gajo-en
Promoted and performed in the “Sakura Concert” at the Kamakura Engaku-ji Temple and the Izu-jingi Shrine
Concert tours in the U.S.: Atlanta and Washington DC, sponsored by Japan Abilities Association
Performed in Roppongi Gotoh flower shop concert
Promoted and performed in the “Spring Concert” in Hotel Kawana


















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