Art & Design

World Shakuhachi Festival

1 - 4 August 2018, London

The World Shakuhachi Festival 2018 in London is the seventh large-scale international shakuhachi Festival to be held and will be the first time in Europe. The festival takes place during four days with a grand opening concert the night before the festival begins and another grand concert on the evening of the final day and an academic Shakuhachi Symposium 2 days before the event.

During the 4 days there will be 80 of the top shakuhachi performers. This is a very rare opportunity to hear and compare shakuhachi players from many different guilds, schools and styles.


The main purpose of this festival is to promote an international awareness and understanding of the shakuhachi (and also of the koto and shamisen), both in a traditional context and in its wide-ranging applications in contemporary music such as new compositions, for both the players and for the general public.


All the main styles of performance will be represented to give a broad view of the various lineages and schools, including Kinko, Tozan, KSK and Myoan styles for the shakuhachi and Ikuta, Yamada and Miyagi-kai for the koto and shamisen. Musical genres such as koten honkyoku (classical solo repertoire for shakuhachi), sankyoku (classical ensemble music with shakuhachi, koto and shamisen), shinkyoku (modern ensemble music), gendaikyoku (contemporary music) and several new compositions will also be premiered. Genres often not heard at international gatherings, such as the shakuhachi in min'yo or folk music and some of the rare and almost unknown Myoan guilds will also be represented for the first time at this festival.


This particular festival, furthermore, celebrates the fact that Europe has become a firmly established territory for the shakuhachi with substantial representation of various schools, styles and approaches to the performance of the instrument and its music.


A diverse range of opportunities for participation will be available, including master classes aimed at beginning, intermediate and advanced students, concerts for musical enjoyment and for the discovery of new genres, schools and approaches, performance opportunities, lectures, seminars, receptions and gatherings, and informal interactions on the individual level.


The various activities of the WSF have been subdivided for planning purposes into five thematic areas:

1) Shakuhachi, the thing: instrument-making and care, and styles of instruments.
2) Great solos from the past (and present): shakuhachi honkyoku from various ryuha
3) Shakuhachi and other instruments - golden oldies: traditional ensemble forms
4) Shakuhachi - new sounds: musical developments from the late Meiji to the 1970s
5) Shakuhachi - new horizons: shakuhachi in multifaceted contexts from the 1970s to the present.


Activities within these thematic areas include lectures, master classes / workshops, symposia, and concerts.


120 workshops will take place and 16 concerts. All concerts are open to the general public. Tickets to the concerts and the workshops can be found on

1 - 4 August 2018

Goldsmiths, University of London, 8 Lewisham Way, New Cross, London SE14 6NW, UK


European Shakuhachi Society