World’s oldest living orchestral tradition performed by the Musicians of the Imperial Household Agency, Tokyo.
Gagaku is the world’s oldest living orchestral tradition. This music of unforgettable elegance and beauty dates back to 5th century Japan. Performed by a powerful ensemble of wind instruments, plucked strings and deeply resonant percussion, its slow-moving melodies and exquisite harmonies suggest a serene world of ancient ritual and contemplation.
Gagaku performances are as arresting to watch as they are to hear. Dancers interpret the stately music with stylised movements, and the musicians’ dramatic costumes and the dazzling decor are just as important as the astonishing music.
The musicians of the Imperial Household in Tokyo are Japan’s most exceptional players. One of Japan’s most ancient performing groups, the ensemble is designated a living national treasure, its performances usually reserved for the private ceremonies of the Japanese imperial family. This is a very rare chance to hear one of the pinnacles of Japanese culture in a wide-ranging programme of traditional court music and dance, its only performance in the UK.
Imperial Court Music and Dance of Japan
Perfomed by the Musicians of the Imperial Household Agency, Tokyo