Gorō Yamaguchi

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Gorō Yamaguchi
Tokyo, Japan
Origin Japan
GenresJapanese classical
InstrumentsJapanese shakuhachi bamboo flute
LabelsJapan Victor, Nonesuch

Gorō Yamaguchi (山口 五郎; February 26, 1933 – January 3, 1999[1][2]) a Japanese shakuhachi (vertical bamboo flute) player, was known for his musicality, phrasing, impeccable technique (and modesty) in solo and ensemble performances. He headed the Chikumeisha shakuhachi guild and became a world-famous Japanese performer and teacher. In 1967-68 he was appointed Artist in Residence at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut (USA) along with his wife, Yamada-school koto performer Namino Torii[3].

While at Wesleyan, Nonesuch Explorer Series recorded his "A Bell Ringing In The Empty Sky" LP,[4] an influential first recording of shakuhachi in the US. NASA included one honkyoku from that LP, "Tsuru No Sugomori," (Nesting of Cranes) on the Voyager Golden Record which was sent into space.

In 1992, the Japanese government designated Yamaguchi a Living National Treasure (Ningen Kokuhô).

Major recordings[edit]

  • Shakuhachi no Shinzui: Shakuhachi Honkyoku (Soul of Shakuhachi: Shakuhachi Honkyoku). Solo performance of complete Kinko school honkyoku repertoire: 38 compositions on 12 CDs. Boxed set with 44-page booklet. Japan Victor VZCG-8066-8077.
  • Shakuhachi no Shinzui: Sankyoku Gassô (Soul of Shakuhachi: Trio Ensemble). Ensemble performances with voice, koto, and shamisen. Four CDs in boxed set with 44-page booklet. Japan Victor VZCG-8078-81.

Audio link[edit]