Mentor/Protégés Summer Initiative
In May 2007, Columbia University’s Gagaku-Hōgaku Classical Japanese Music Curriculum and Performance Program announced its first Mentor/Protégé Gagaku Summer Initiative, a six-week program in Tokyo where Columbia’s most promising gagaku students receive private instruction from gagaku masters.

Each of the four participants in the initiative’s inaugural session received a $5000 grant to cover the costs of airfare, housing, and music lessons. During the intensive training program, the protégés received weekly lessons from Mentors Hitomi Nakamura (hichiriki) and Takeshi Sasamoto (ryūteki), both world-renowned gagaku musicians.

As part of the continuing development of the Gagaku Program at Columbia, the students will form the basis of the new New York Gagaku Instrumental Ensemble.

2007 Protégés
Amy Gardner  (hichiriki)
Ruth Rosenberg  (ryūteki)
Ben Siegelman  (hichiriki)
Teresa Wojtasiewicz  (ryūteki)


See photos


2008 Protégés
Michael Dames (shō)
Casey Diaz (shō)
Patricia Slattery (ryūteki)
Todd Spitz (shō)


2009 Protégés
Shannon Garland (hichiriki)
Maggie Goldbar (ryūteki)
Harrison Hsu (shō)


2010 Protégés
Eddie (Byung Jin) Kang (hichiriki)
Jeff Arkenberg (shō)
Jiahe Zhang (shō)


2011 Protégés
Cancelled due to the Great Tohoku Earthquake.


2012 Protégés
Matthew Samimi (ryūteki)
Eric Grossman (shakuhachi)
Elizabeth Tinsley (koto)
Gloria (Yu) Yang (koto)


2013 Protégés
Racine Nassau (hichiriki)
Joanne Yao (hichiriki)
Alessandra Urso (shō)
Benjamin Grossman (shakuhachi)
Andrew Macomber (shakuhachi)
Kento Watanabe (koto)


2014 Protégés
Joshua Mailman (hichiriki)
Arias Abbruzzi Davis (ryūteki)
Bryana Williams (shō)
Alessandro Poletto (koto)


2015 Protégés
Lish Lindsey (ryūteki)
Chatori Shimizu (shō)
Henry Liang (shō)
Junjie Jiang (koto)


2016 Protégés
Harrison Hsu (gakusō)
Zak Seligman Karen (shō)
Zoe Levine (koto)
Johni Licht (ryūteki)
Kevin Tien (hichiriki)
Devon Tipp (hichiriki)


2017 Protégés
Toru Momii (shō)
Lucie Vitkova (hichiriki)
Cole Wagner (ryūteki)
Weitao Zhou (shakuhachi)
Sara Heiny (koto)
Marisa Liu (koto)