© Miyama McQueen-Tokita 2019


Miyama McQueen-Tokita

Miyama McQueen-Tokita is one of the leading young lights on the Tokyo contemporary scene.  McQueen-Tokita is constantly in search of her own style that fuses ancient traditions with new ideas.  As well as performing contemporary repertoire ranging from the early 20th century to newly commissioned pieces and traditional repertoire for the koto, Miyama also writes and arranges music for herself, and regularly collaborates with both Western and non-Western instruments, as well as performers of other disciplines such as contemporary dancers and calligraphy artists.


Miyama has studied the koto since the age of seven with the Sawai International Koto School in Australia and Japan.  She began learning with koto master Satsuki Odamura in Australia throughout her school years and university, and then later also began studying under Kazue Sawai in Japan.


After graduating from Monash University with a Bachelor of Music/Arts, Miyama moved to Tokyo, Japan.  In 2010 she graduated top of the class from the NHK training program for performers of traditional Japanese instruments (NHK Hogaku Ginosha Ikuseikai).  In 2012, she was ranked first among all candidates in Japan for the Sawai Koto School teaching license examination in Tokyo.  Miyama received a Japanese government scholarship to study at Tokyo University of the Arts (Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku) for four years, and in 2014 she graduated with a masters in musicology, specialising in contemporary koto music.  While studying and performing intensively in Tokyo, Miyama also received numerous awards at various competitions, notably the Japan Society of Contemporary Music (JSCM) competition, where she was awarded second prize, with all other contestants on Western instruments.  Her performing career has since blossomed, and has been invited to perform as a soloist with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and numerous festivals including the Chrysanthemums and Maple Leaves Festival performing with Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra in 2014, the Powell Street Festival as a solo artist in 2016, Mapping Melbourne Festival in Australia as a solo artist in 2017, and the Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2008.


In recent years Miyama has been focusing on the seventeen-stringed bass koto (jushichigen).  In 2015 and 2017 she travelled to Graz, Austria to take part in the IMPULS new music Academy & Festival, where she premiered numerous new and innovative works by young composers, written for the bass koto. She has since premiered many of these works in Germany, North America and Japan.  Recently she has also been performing improvised music frequently, and has collaborated with numerous artists in Japan and Europe.  Some of these artists include contrabassist Tetsu Saitoh (JP), saxophonist Akira Sakata (JP), violinist Naoki Kita (JP), pianist Jacques Demierre (Switzerland), saxophonist Michel Doneda (FR) and percussionist Lê Quan Ninh (FR). 


Perpetually making efforts to bring the koto into new musical territories, Miyama continues to collaborate with artists of varying disciplines and cultures, as well as making contact with a wide range of composers of various styles.  Whenever there is the opportunity, Miyama gives demonstrations and workshops for composers to show the instruments and its capabilities, which have lead to not only innovative, but works that are idiomatic for the instrument.


Miyama currently teaches koto at the Yokohama International School, where the students have received awards from various competitions for koto and Japanese instruments, and also lectures part time at Rikkyo University.  In addition to her regular teaching, she conducts school shows and demonstrations for schools around Japan and in Australia for levels varying from elementary to high school, to broaden the awareness and perspectives of people of all ages.




 メルボルン在住中はリサイタル、和・洋・民族楽器と幅広く共演し、Melbourne International Arts FestivalやMapping Melbourneなどの音楽祭に出演するほか、シドニーオペラハウスやMelbourne Arts Centreなどでの演奏を果たす。

 2008年にモナシュ大学音楽学部及び文学部卒業以来、日本に活動の拠点を移す。2011年に東京オペラシティにてソロリサイタル開催。現在、主な活動としては様々な現代音楽をアンサンブルやソロで演奏するほか、自作曲やアレンジ、即興演奏をソロ、そして和・洋楽器を問わず一緒に演奏している。特にソロライブシリーズで精力的に自作曲や即興演奏をソロやデュオで行う。カナダ、バンクーバーで開催される音楽祭Chrysanthemums & Maple Leaves(2014)とPowell Street Festival(2016)にソリストとして招待され、現地やヨーロッパ在住の様々なアーティストと共演、新作の初演も多数。2015年と2017年にオーストリアで開催されるImpuls現代音楽アカデミー&フェスティバルにて十七絃のための多数の作品を委嘱初演。その作品をベルリンや東京でも初演。ソリストとして日本フィルハーモニー交響楽団と共演。近年の共演者にはブルース・ヒューバナー(尺八)喜多直毅(violin)坂田明(sax)齋藤徹(contrabass)日下部任良(sax)などがいる。

 また、2014年日本テレビの「ぶらり途中下車の旅」にブルース・ヒューバナーと出演、2013年にオーストラリアのABC Radio National、2017年にFM Yokohamaでもインタビューと演奏をする。