European American Music Distributors Company is a member of the Schott Music Group

World Premiere of Torio by Douglas J. Cuomo

May. 04, 2018

World Premiere of <em>Torio</em> by Douglas J. Cuomo

On May 20, Kyo-Shin-An Arts presents the world premiere of Douglas J. Cuomo’s Torio at the Tenri Cultural Institute in Manhattan. The performers include Taka Kigawa, piano, Yoko Reikano Kimura, shamisen, and James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi. Cuomo says of his new work:

"Torio is the word for trio or trio sonata in Japanese, but it also has two less common meanings - a female street musician who plays shamisen, and also “to hold a ceremony”, in particular, a traditional ceremony held at the new year that involves children singing songs to chase away birds as they walk in procession from house to house. This piece makes reference to all three definitions: it is a processional piece for an imagined bird-chasing ceremony, includes a shamisen, and is a modern take on a Baroque trio sonata. While a traditional Baroque trio sonata has basso continuo (or bass line) running throughout the piece, Torio has virtually no low parts at all. Instead, an upper register “continuo” is created by is the piano playing repetitive patterns in the extreme upper register, with the sustain pedal engaged. This creates a mist of harmonics and overtones that envelope the piece as well as, I hope, gently chasing away whatever birds might be around."

This is Cuomo's second commission from Kyo-Shin-An Arts. Last year, he composed No Fear (Of Silence) for cello and shakuhachi as part of the "Exploding Chrysanthemums" series at Tenri. 

Listen to “The Boy’s Nature” from Cuomo’s opera Doubt (2012) here:

(“The Boy’s Nature” from Doubt/Douglas J. Cuomo/Minnesota Opera/
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano/Christopher Franklin, conductor)

To learn more about Douglas J. Cuomo, visit

Douglas J. Cuomo
for shakuhachi, shamisen, and piano
Commissioned by Kyo-Shin-An Arts