Mitsuru Kubo is a frequently sought-after soloist. She has collaborated with conductor Matthew Aubin and composer Jeremy Crosmer to premiere new works with both the Jackson Symphony Orchestra (Michigan) and The Chelsea Symphony (NYC). Mitsuru also continues to expand on a range of musical styles. Mitsuru co-wrote and recorded an album with alternative pop/rock band Sonic Cult, with whom she toured across the US, Korea and Japan. Mitsuru is a founding member of the BeneSori String Quartet, members of which she met on the set of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, playing for Imagine Dragons. Her recent pop collaborations include rapper Common and Pink Martini. She is also a regular member of The Chelsea Symphony, New England Symphonic Ensemble and Westchester Music of India Group. Mitsuru is also a dedicated teacher. Along with her private studio, she is on faculty at Love Viola USA, and Friends With Music. Future engagements include a residency with the Washington-Idaho Symphony and a recording project with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.
On Saturday, January 21, Mitsuru Kubo returns as a soloist with The Chelsea Symphony performing Fernande Decruck’s Sonata in C# for Viola and Orchestra.
The Chelsea Symphony: What makes playing with TCS different from other playing experiences you have had?
Mitsuru Kubo: This is my second time soloing with TCS and it’s always been a special experience for me. When I’m standing as a soloist in front of an orchestra full of my friends and colleagues with whom I’ve shared many performances, it feels comforting and familiar—like coming home for the holidays. I know these people have my back and are helping me play this music to the best of my ability. Every rehearsal, every performance, every post-concert hang, gives me a sense of camaraderie and reminds me why I love being a musician.
TCS: What keeps you coming back to TCS?
MK: I love the programs that TCS puts together every season. The selection of masterworks and new music keeps me engaged as a musician, and of course, I know I’m playing with other talented and dear friends that also have the same respect for the music we are playing.
TCS: What made you choose this particular solo work to play with TCS?
MK: I prefer performing pieces that feel fresh and new, as opposed to the standard concerto repertoire. When Matt Aubin—an expert on all things Decruck—presented this piece to me, my interest was piqued. Although this piece is more commonly performed on saxophone, I’m excited to breathe some new life and a new sound to this music.
TCS: What feelings come up for you when you are playing this piece?
MK: It’s such a cute piece! It’s celebratory and soul-wrenching; it’s playful and pondering. This music reminds me of going on a scenic hike, with steep, rocky inclines that level out onto beautiful panoramic views, and at the end, a glorious waterfall as my reward.
TCS: Is there anything else you would like to share about your upcoming solo feature?
MK: The second movement Noël references a traditional French carol that I used to sing in choir as a child. It’s very nostalgic and sentimental to be playing this melody again.
Join us at 8pm on Saturday, January 21st at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music at 450 West 37th Street for Mitsuru’s performance of Decruck’s Sonata in C# for Viola and Orchestra!