Yoshiaki Horiguchi is no stranger to Chestertown. To this day, he fondly remembers it as the place he had his first “slow dance” with a girl while attending summer camp at Washington College as a middle schooler. Fast forward 10 years later, he would spend the next five summers as an apprentice double bass player with the National Music Festival. He’s also performed with the Chester River Chorale.
So when he returns April 28 to play a solo recital as part of NMF’s Resonance series at St. Paul’s Parish, Kent, he’ll feel right at home. Horiguchi – Yoshi to his friends – will be accompanied by pianist Soojeong Oh, a colleague at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he’s pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in bass performance and pedagogy. Their repertoire will range from Bach to jazz composer Chick Corea.
“I enjoy mixing genres and mixing styles and mixing audiences as well,” Horiguchi said by phone while driving to a recent gig in York, Pa. – a performance of Stravinsky’s “L’histoire du soldat” accompanied by a light show.
Horiguchi’s playing has been praised by The Baltimore Sun for its “dazzling display of dexterity and panache.” While classically trained, he is a self-described champion of “music accessibility.” (Horiguchi replaces cellist Gwen Krosnick, who was originally scheduled to perform but had to withdraw on short notice.)
His engagements have spanned a range of genres and venues, from concert halls with symphony orchestras to hip-hop clubs with the Baltimore Boom Bap Society, dance halls with The Hungry Monks Swing Band, and more. Horiguchi has taught with OrchKids, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s program that works for social change through music. His Chestertown performance will lean more towards classical but also embrace contemporary concert pieces for double bass.
At first blush, the bass might seem an odd choice for a solo instrument. Not a lot of music has been written specifically for the largest of the orchestra’s string instruments (the one played standing up). But Horiguchi will showcase music from concertos written for double bass, music originally written for other instruments and even his own arrangement of a Corea’s “Spain,” a jazz classic.
On “Spain” Horiguchi will build a multi-layered performance using a loop pedal, an electronic device that allows him to lay track upon track recorded live and simultaneously accompany himself.
His program will include “Firesides for Solo Double Bass,” a contemporary work by Ledah Finck, a friend and Peabody colleague; a Bach cello suite and “Ode d’Espagne,” a flamenco guitar-inspired solo by Syrian-French bassist and composer François Rabbath.
Tickets for Horiguchi’s Resonance (formerly Kent Chamber Music) recital, April 28, 3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Parish Hall, 7579 Sandy Bottom Rd., are $20 and may be purchased online at http://nationalmusic.us/events-and-tickets/single-concert-tickets/. The concert is free for holders of 2019 National Music Festival Combination Passes. Student tickets are $5.
“I think music is just music,” Horiguchi said of his eclectic tastes. “Because the communicative power of music and the strength that it holds to bond two people together and bring people together is an incredible potential that music has, and I learned a lot of that from the National Musical Festival. It’s kind of my guiding light so far as how I carry forth in my musical career.”
The 2019 National Music Festival will run June 2 -15, for more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.nationalmusic.us.
RES·O·NANCE /ˈrezənəns/ Noun: the quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating … a quality of richness or variety.