Tomoko Sugawara (kugo) + August Denhard (lute)
Tomoko Sugawara was born in Tokyo, Japan, and began playing the Irish harp at age twelve. Beginning in 1991 she also played reconstructions of the kugo. The kugo is a very ancient harp, with its origins found in Mesopotamia. Her repertory is ancient as well as contemporary and draws from Asia and the West. In addition to the kugo, she is practiced in the concert harp and the lever harp. Sugawara has given numerous solo recitals in major international venues, such as the World Harp Congress (in Prague 1999, Amsterdam 2008 and Vancouver 2011), Columbia University, and Harvard University. In September she will give a kugo recital in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
August Denhard received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland; his Master’s Degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; and Doctor of Music Degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Mr. Denhard is a three-time recipient of the Artist Support Grant from Jack Straw Productions in Seattle and has released two CDs, Cusp of the Baroque for solo lute, and A Meeting Place: Medieval and Renaissance Music for Lute and Ud on the Sono Luminus label. He has appeared in ensembles that specialize in early music such as Baroque Northwest and Chicago Music of Baroque. Currently, he is working on his third CD with Eric Mentzel.