Ayako Oshima Neidich
Assistant Professor of Music
Ayako Oshima, winner of numerous international competitions, including the 55th Japan Music Competition in Tokyo, the Winds and Percussion Competition in Japan, and the 17th International Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade, where she also received the “Golden Harp” award given to the favorite of the audience and critics, is one of the most popular clarinet soloists in Japan.
She performs regularly in recital and concerto appearances with orchestra, highlights of which have included performances in Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Tanuma, at the Casals Hall, Keoi Hall, and Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, and with the Hiroshima and Osaka Symphonies. She is quite active in chamber music festivals, including theKuhmo Festival in Finland, the Festival Consonances in France, the Sarasota Summer Music Festival, and Chamber Music Silicon Valley.
Oshima was a founding member of L’Art Respirant, one of the first new music ensembles in Japan, and also was a member of the noted ensemble Contrasts Quartet. She has been involved playing historical instruments since 1991 and, as a member of the acclaimed period instrument ensemble Mozzafiato, she has recorded several CDs for the SONY Vivarte label. Other labels for which she has recorded include Toshiba EMI, Victor Japan, Naxos, and Bridge. She recently released Bel Canto: music for two clarinets on the Aurora label.
In addition to her performing career, she maintains a high profile as a teacher and is on the faculties of Purchase College, the Juilliard School, and Hartt College. She has kept her connection with the Toho School and gives regular master classes there. She has also served on the juries of both the Japan Music Competition and the Japan Winds and Percussion International Competition. She has founded and is the director of the Kita Karuizawa Music Seminar, which attracts clarinet students from all over Asia. With her husband, Charles Neidich, she has written a book on the fundamentals of clarinet technique for the publisher Toa Ongaku Inc. and writes a monthly column on music and the clarinet for Pipers Magazine.
In 2011, she founded the all-female clarinet ensemble, NYLicorice Ensemble. they have already has released two CDS and are in the process of releasing their third. They have performed throughout Japan and in New York and have been featured on NHK television.