Summer Festival 2021
“Let’s support the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra!”
We are pleased to announce that the annual summer festival of the Nippon Club will be held on Friday, June 25, under the title of “Let’s support the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra!”
The Metropolitan Opera stopped performances March 12, 2020, and the theater is still closed. The members of the orchestra have been furloughed without pay for a year and rarely have a chance to perform. The Metropolitan Opera is scheduled to resume its 2021-22 season at the theater this September, but the musicians are going through a very difficult time, uncertain about their future, having been without income for more than a year due to the furlough. The Metropolitan Opera is an outlier in the world. Every other major orchestra paid their musicians during the pandemic. This year’s summer festival is designed to provide both performance opportunities and financial support for the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
As the coronavirus vaccine has progressed, and infections are slowing, this year our annual summer festival will be held as a “hybrid event” combining an in-person event with a later, virtual event. This will also be the first event held outside the Nippon Club building.
The first, in-person part of this year’s Summer Festival will be a reception and concert for VIP guests of the event sponsors. The venue will be Peak Events on the 101st floor of 30 Hudson Yards, secured with the support of Mitsui Fudosan America, a member company and board member of the Nippon Club. Guests will be able to enjoy a beautiful performance by the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and a spectacular view of the New York City skyline at night. Guests will also be able to enjoy 360-degree views of New York City from “Edge”, the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, which is located on the building’s 100th floor.
The second part of the Summer Festival, to be held on Friday, July 9 will be a virtual event featuring edited footage of the VIP concert, along with commentary by harpist Mariko Anraku, the only Japanese member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The participation fee for this virtual event includes a special bento box prepared by the Nippon Club’s chef, and both the Nippon Club members and non-members can attend. The participants will be able to enjoy the performance of the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the night view of Manhattan virtually from the comfort of their homes.
The live event was recently mentioned in an article featured on Opera Wire, a website dedicated to Opera fans.
The orchestra is also performing for the Nippon Club at Peak in a private fundraiser for the orchestra later this month.
(Read the full article here)
Here is a message from John Brewer, President, MET Orchestra Musicians Fund.
On behalf of all of us at the MET Orchestra musicians fund, I extend our deep appreciation to you for your kindness and generosity. Your support for the MET Orchestra Musicians has helped the fund to provide crucial support for those most in need during this unprecedented time.
By supporting the members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, one of New York’s cultural assets, the event will allow members of the Nippon Club to demonstrate their commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principles. As a fundraising event, the Summer Festival will invite participating member companies and their members to make donations to the members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. After the virtual event, the footage will be open to the public to invite additional donations.
A Hybrid Event
(Sponsor companies’ VIP invitations only)
Friday, June 25, 2021
6:00-9:00 pm (Eastern Daylight Time)
Friday, July 9, 2021
7:00-8:00 pm (Eastern Daylight Time)
Mariko Anraku has won attention as one of the world’s outstanding harpists through numerous appearances as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician. She has enchanted audiences with her virtuosity and “manifestation of grace and elegance” (Jerusalem Post). Since 1995, she has held the position of Associate Principal Harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Ms. Anraku’s impressive list of awards includes First Prize at the First Nippon International Harp Competition, First Prize at the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City, the Pro Musicis International Award, as well as Third Prize and the Pearl Chertok Prize at the International Harp Contest in Israel. As a recitalist, Ms. Anraku has performed in major concert halls on three continents, including the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Opera Comique in Paris, Kioi Hall in Tokyo, etc. An active chamber musician, she has performed at numerous festivals including the Spoleto, Tanglewood, Newport, Bridgehampton, Banff Centre, Kirishima, Takefu and Pacific Music Festivals and venues including the Metropolitan Museum, Gardiner Museum, Columbia University and the Harvard Music Association. Her strong commitment to contemporary music and the expansion of the boundaries of the harp repertoire has included invitations to premiere works by Toshio Hosokawa at the Donaueschingen Musiktage in Germany, Wien Modern in Austria, etc., collaborating with traditional Japanese musicians and monks. She has recorded exclusively for EMI Classics, including three solo recordings and a CD with eminent flutist Emmanuel Pahud. A dedicated teacher, Ms. Anraku is a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School and is a recipient of an Artist’s Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. She also studied Oriental Art History at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. She enjoys playing community service concerts at hospitals, drug rehabilitation centers, prisons and other venues. Ms. Anraku was born in Japan and moved to Canada at a young age due to her father’s work.