Duo Ueda Offermans

Motivated by their projects in the past and with a strong interest towards the Dutch - Japanese common history, the Duo Ueda Offermans has initiated the international intercultural project BSXCaravan in the spring of 2007. Below you can read more about the two artists, their unique duo concerts and some of their other intercultural projects.

The Duo Ueda/Offermans

Junko Ueda performing Heike Monogatari Wil Offermans playing the contrabass flute Duo Ueda/Offermans during BSXCaravan performance at Arkas Concert Hall, Sasebo (22.10.2007)

The most remarkable Japanese/Dutch music Duo Ueda Offermans (Junko Ueda and Wil Offermans) combines in their concerts the Japanese satsuma-biwa & voice and the Western flutes. Since 1988 they have been performing their compositions and improvisations. Their music can be characterized by exploring the integral time-space between different cultures and between ancient and modern.

During the last years, the duo has appeared at numerous music festivals (i.e. Musique Action Nancy, Singapore Festival of Arts, Quebec Summer Festival, New Music Festival Middelburg, Musica Contemporenea Bogota) and has toured extensively all over the world and exchanged with local musicians and composers. After various solo productions, their duo CD titled How to Survive in Paradise was released by VDE-Gallo, Swiss.

For more information on the duo: uedaoffermans.com

Junko Ueda - Satsuma-Biwa / Shomyo

Junko Ueda
Junko Ueda (born in Tokyo, Japan) is Japanese singer and satsuma-biwa player, presenting Japanese traditional biwa music (story-telling) and shomyo Buddhist chanting. Also, she is specialized to perform the pieces of Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. Ueda studied satsuma-biwa with the famous Kinshi Tsuruta and Buddhist shomyo-chanting with Koshin Ebihara. She studied piano and composition (under a.o. Joji Yuasa) at the Tokyo College of Music.
Since 1988, Ueda has based in Europe (Amsterdam, Holland and Granada, Spain) and has been giving biwa/voice solo concert and shomyo (Japanese Buddhist chanting) vocal workshop in numerous situations and at music festivals. Her traditional biwa CDs 'Heike Monogatari' (CD650 VDE/AIMP Geneva) and Satsuma Biwa (ARN64577 Arion, Paris / Ethnomad, Geneva) received several prizes e.g. the Grand Prix du Disque, Academie Charles Cros, Paris and Choc Le Monde de la Musique, Paris.
Contributing for new compositions, Junko Ueda has been working with composers, e.g. Jean-Claude Eloy, Qu Xiaosong, Akemi Naito, Keiko Harada and performing with e.g. cellist Yo Yo Ma and Dutch Nieuw Ensemble. Since 1988 she has been presenting a duo performance with Dutch flutist Wil Offermans. This duo has recorded the CD 'How to Survive in Paradise' (CD732 VDE-Gallo Swiss) and has been touring world-wide (Europe, Asia, North and South America), performing own compositions and improvisations. She has been active as a producer for several inter-cultural projects including 12xHolland.

For more information and music samples: junkoueda.com

Wil Offermans - Flutes / Composition

Wil Offermans
Through his concerts and compositions, Offermans has become known for his creative and contemporary approach both on stage as well as in his teaching. Major inspiration he gathered during his concert tours around the world, especially to Asia and Japan, where his music has been received with great enthusiasm.
Wil Offermans, born in Maastricht, Holland, graduated from the Brabants Conservatory, Holland, in flute as well as in improvised music. In 1985/1986 he made a seven month world-wide flute-performance titled Round About 12.5. This solo project took him to 18 countries (in Europe, Africa, Asia, North &; South America) not only for concerts, but also to research many ethnic flutes. He has performed his music extensively - especially as a soloist - in many different situations all over the world, though especially in Japan. With Junko Ueda (biwa & voice) he performed e.g. in Europe, in the US and Canada, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombia and Indonesia. With the intention to stimulate the contemporary and intercultural approach concerning flute playing he created the foundation The Magic Flute and a flute ensemble, which toured Japan in 1997. In 1998 he founded the Contemporary European Flute Ensemble eWave, uniting players from all over Europe. In 2001 he composed the citizens involving Dejima Suite for the celebration of the 400 year relationship Holland-Japan (Nagasaki). In 2003, eWave started a European project with GRAME, Lyon (5 new European live-electronic compositions), for which he composed OnTheMove (commission Gaudeamus). He recorded on E-Records, BVHaast, and VDE-Gallo.
Offermans has given his flute workshops in numerous settings including the Hochschule Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp Conservatory, Belgium; New England Conservatory Boston, USA; University of Michigan, USA; Kunitachi College of Music Tokyo, Japan; Shanghai Conservatory, China; Frankfurt Flute Festival; Flute Festival Boswil, Switzerland); the US Flute Convention 2003 (Las Vega) and the Japan Flute Convention 2003 (Fukuoka). Since more than 15 years Offermans has been presenting a 'flute day event' for amateur groups and children, especially at music schools throughout Europe and Asia. Since 1992 he is organizing an annual Flute Summer Course. Since 1997 he developed the Thumpy flute: an exciting thumb flute for educational as well as performance purpose and an enjoyable alternative for both flutists and children. In 2001, he was a flute teacher at the Brabants Conservatory, Holland. He has been awarded with the Kuiper prize 2002 of the Dutch Flute Society. In 2003 he started a working studio in Granada, Spain.

For more information and music samples: wiloffermans.com

Other Projects by Ueda/Offermans

Below we would like to mention several of their other intercultural projects by Wil Offermans and/or Junko Ueda:

Round About 12.5: a seven month world-wide flute-performance by Wil Offermans titled Round About 12.5. This solo project took him to 18 countries (in Europe, Africa, Asia, North & South America), both for concerts as well as for researching ethnic flutes.

12xHolland: is annual intercultural exchange project with arts as a bridge among people. Inspired by the Dutch-Japanese history, Dutch artists and specialist are invited to stay in Hirado (Nagasaki) for one month and to communicate with the citizens of Hirado by their art in workshops, school visits, expositions, concerts and other presentations.

eWave: The Contemporary European Flute Ensemble eWave brings together flutists and composers from the European area. With the extending creation of the European Community, the rich cultural diversity of Europe activated a process of confrontation, exchange and integration. With the intention to participate this cultural interaction, the eWave ensemble was founded in the summer of 1998, when artistic director Wil Offermans and has performed in various European countries.

Performances ‘world-wide’: the duo Ueda/Offermans has an extensive history of performing worldwide at many important music festival, of teaching activities in many different cultures and settings (both for professionals as well as for children) and of publishing their works by CDs and books.

Music Studio Granada: the duo has opened their music atelier in Granada, Spain. In the well-known region of Andalusia, with its famous intercultural history and its powerful nature, they have created a most inspiring working place.


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