Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert: Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki celebrates the illustrious partnership between acclaimed composer Joe Hisaishi and beloved filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (Academy Award Winner, Best Animated Feature Film 2002, Spirited Away). As longstanding friends and collaborators, Hisaishi and Miyazaki have worked together for over thirty years, including nine films from renowned production house Studio Ghibli. In a new concert production, Joe Hisaishi's celebrated scores — including those from Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away — are performed with a full orchestra and choir, and conducted by Hisaishi himself. The music accompanies montages from Miyazaki's films, bringing the timeless work of Hisaishi and Miyazaki to vivid new life.
While at Kunitachi College of Music, Joe Hisaishi discovered his passion for the musical movement of Minimalism, and began his career as a composer of contemporary music and film scores. His first album, MKWAJU, was released in 1981, with Information being released a year later. After that, with albums including Piano Stories, My Lost City, Etude: a Wish to the Moon, Asian X.T.C, and Another Piano Story: End of the World among others, he has established his own style for composing and performing within many different musical genres.
Starting with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Hisaishi has produced music for nine films directed by Hayao Miyasaki, including Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008), Princess Mononoke (1999), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), and Spirited Away (2002 Academy Award Winner, Best Animated Feature).
Mai Fujisawa is a Japanese singer and lyricist born in Tokyo. She made her debut on screen at the age of 4, singing Nausicäa Requiem, from her father Joe Hisaishi's soundtrack to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Studio Ghibli's earliest film. Like her father, Mai's mother is also an alumnus of Kunitachi College of Music.
Actively collaborating with Swedish and Norway music composers, she recorded her first album Mai in Sweden and the Czech Republic. In 2012, she sang the opening theme of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – part II, with music by Alexandre Desplat. In the same year, she joined the United Nations Singers as a guest singer for their Japan tour. In 2015, the UN's 70th memorial year, she joined the UN Singers Peace and Hope Concert Tour in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a guest singer and served as producer for the Tokyo performance. In 2016, she sang and wrote lyrics for the theme song for an American documentary film about WWⅡ called Paper Lanterns, with music by young American composer Chad Cannon.
Soprano Amanda Achen is a multi-genre vocalist who specializes in concert work and jazz. Equally at home on the symphony stage, the opera stage, the jazz club, and in the studio, Amanda has performed as a soloist in various venues in LA and beyond including the Dolby Theater, the Microsoft Theatre, the Ambassador Auditorium, the Hollywood Bowl, the Staples Center, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
She spends some of her time performing with her popjazz band “Citizen Kitten,” as well as writing and recording her own original music. Amanda sings on many film score and video game sessions and can most notably be heard in the new Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers theme song.
Recent solo engagements include Mozart’s Requiem, Carmina Burana, Mahler’s Second Symphony, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Bach’s Magnificat, Haydn’s Creation, Purcell’s King Arthur, and Handel’s Orlando.
Amanda is thrilled to join the Seattle Symphony to once again perform the gorgeous and iconic music of Hisaishi in the Music of Miyazaki tour!
Called, “one of the truly exceptional musicians of his generation,” a mandolinist about whom it has been said, “there has never been a mandolinist with greater technical skills,” and a composer whose music, “touches and communicates the essence of what it means to be an alive, feeling human being,” Joe Brent has forged a career as both instrumentalist and composer with extraordinary fluency across multiple genres.
The Seattle Symphony Chorale serves as the official chorus of the Seattle Symphony. Over its past four decades, the Chorale has grown in artistry and stature, establishing itself as a highly respected ensemble.
Led by Music Director Thomas Dausgaard, the Seattle Symphony unleashes the power of music, brings people together and lifts the human spirit. Recognized as one of the “most vital American orchestras” (NPR), the Seattle Symphony is internationally acclaimed for its inventive programming, community-minded initiatives and superb recordings on the Seattle Symphony Media label.
Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert: Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki is generously underwritten by William E. Franklin, the Nakajima Family and Yuka Shimizu.