The Tanosaki-Richards Duo, now in their 27th season, performs music from a variety of eras and styles, specializing in contemporary music from Japan and the United States. They have commissioned and premiered numerous composers and works, including Michael Finnissy, Akira Nishimura, Linda Dusman, Jay Reise, P. Q. Phan, Stuart Smith, Masao Honma, Mamoru Fujieda, Masataka Matsuo, Drew Krause, Hiroyuki Itoh, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Bill Kleinsasser, David Kim-Boyle, and Anna Rubin.
The Tanosaki-Richards Duo has performed at many international events, including the 1996 International Clarinet Festival in Paris, the 1989 International Electronic Music Plus Festival (Oberlin, OH), the Tokyo American Center, the 1990 and 1993 Kobe International Festivals of Modern Music (Japan), the 1992 Music Forum Series at Shobi Conservatory (Tokyo, Japan), the 1993 Meet the Composer Series at the Center for Computer Music and Music Technology of the Kunitachi College of Music (Tokyo), the 1995 Asian Composers' Forum (Sendai, Japan), the 2004 International Clarinet Festival in Washington, DC, the 2004 J. Donald Robb Composer's Symposium at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and in residence at the Conservatorio G. Nicolini, Piacenza, Italy, the Val Tidone Summer Music Camp in Pianello, Italy, and at 25 colleges and universities throughout the US and Japan.
They have performed Masataka Matsuo's Double Concerto ( Hirai V ) with the Shinsei Japan Philharmonic under Kazumasa Watanabe, and recorded the work with the Hamilton College Orchestra (composer conducting) for an Opus One CD (#156). In the last few years they have recorded a CD of new Japanese music for clarinet and piano on Ninewinds Records, chamber music of P.Q. Phan on a CRI CD, performed recitals at Lincoln Center, Greenwich House (North River Music Series) , and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), and presented a lecture-recital of Asian-American music at the International meeting of the College Music Society in Kyoto (Japan). They have also co-directed six international symposia on new Japanese and Asian music, the most recent two in Baltimore/Washington DC (Music of Japan Today 2003, and Music of Japan Today 2007, supported by grants from the Asian Cultural Council, All Nippon Airways, Maryland State Arts Council, Japan Commerce Association of Washington DC, Japan Foundation NY, Association for Asian Studies, and the Embassy of Japan), including a concert at the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution's National Asian Art Museum. As an outgrowth of these symposia, Tanosaki and Richards have edited a book released by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (UK) in Summer 2008 - "Music of Japan Today."
The Duo has also performed at the 2005 International Clarinet Festival in Tokyo, and, as members of RUCKUS (contemporary music ensemble of UMBC), at the New England Conservatory in Boston, during a week-long residency at Stanford University, at the 2006 conference of the International Association of Women Musicians (IAWM) in Miami, and at the 2006 Collision Festival at the University of Victoria, Canada.
As a recitalist of new music, E. Michael Richards - clarinet has premiered over 125 works that have utilized the clarinet at performances throughout the US, Japan, Australia, and Western Europe. He has performed the Clarinet Concerto of John Corigliano with the Syracuse Symphony under Kazuyoshi Akiyama, and performed as a member of the Syracuse Society for New Music from 1986-2001, serving two separate terms on the Board of Directors. Recently, he performed at the 2004 International Computer Music Conference in Miami and 2006 ICM Conference in New Orleans, the 2003 and 2005 Third Practice Festivals in Richmond, Virginia, the 2006 and 2007 SEAMUS festivals at Eugene, Oregon, and Ames, Iowa, and the 2007 and 2008 Florida Electroacoustic Music Festivals in Gainseville.
Trained as a clarinetist at the New England Conservatory (B.Mus.) and Yale School of Music (M.Mus.), Richards earned a Ph.D. in contemporary music at the University of California, San Diego . He has lectured on new clarinet techniques at four national and international conferences, and presented lecture/recitals with Kazuko Tanosaki at the symposium of the International Musicological Society in Melbourne, Australia on new Japanese music. In 2004, he was awarded Second Prize at the ClarFest International Research Competition in Washington DC for his research and lecture on the clarinet music of Akira Nishimura. Richards received a 1990 U.S./Japan Creative Artist Fellowship (sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission, and Japanese Government Cultural Agency) as a solo recitalist for a six-month residency in Japan , a NEH Summer Fellowship to study traditional Japanese music, and a residency grant (Cassis, France) from the Camargo Foundation to complete a book - The Clarinet of the Twenty-First Century. He has subsequently completed similar books for bass (1996) and E-flat (2000) clarinets, and has just completed a revision (2005) of these three texts that includes more than 75 etudes and exercises, a DVD-Rom and Video with recordings of examples and etudes/exercises, 23 CDs of musical examples, and an interactive multi-media website. Richards has been recorded (CD) on the NEUMA, Mode, CRI, New World, and Sony DADC Austria labels.
Richards is currently Chair and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Maryland Baltimore County , a member of the New Music Ensemble of Towson University, and a founding member of RUCKUS (contemporary music ensemble of UMBC). He has previously held full-time faculty positions at Hamilton College, Bowdoin College, and part-time positions at the University of California, San Diego, the Hochstein Music School (Rochester, NY), Nazareth College (Rochester), and Smith College. He was a faculty artist at the 2004 Val Tidone International Masterclasses in Pianello, Italy .
Kazuko Tanosaki - piano, a first-prize winner of the La Jolla Young Artists Competition (CA), has performed as a guest artist at the Piano Panorama of Twentieth Century Music in Rotterdam, Holland, on French National TV, with I Musici de Montreal, and as a concerto soloist with the Syracuse Symphony, and Hamilton College Orchestra on their tour of Romania and Bulgaria . As a member of the Tanosaki-Richards Duo, she has performed recitals in Europe, Australia, Japan, and the US. Dr. Tanosaki holds a B.A. from the Kunitachi College of Music (Tokyo), M.A. from UC San Diego, and DMA from the Eastman School of Music. She was a faculty artist at the 2004 Val Tidone International Masterclasses in Piacenza , Italy, former faculty member at Hamilton College, and performer with the Syracuse Society for New Music. Currently, she is Founder and Director of the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in American Contemporary Music, at UMBC, an innovative curriculum for both native English speakers, and for talented international music students who also study at the English Language Center in order to prepare for entrance to American graduate progams in music.