As an award winning pianist, artistic director, and peace activist, Ikemiya has received critical acclaim for “inspiring audiences with his joyous and expressive tone” (Friends of Music, Japan). An enthusiastic advocate for ragtime music, Ikemiya weaves European classical music and American ragtime together in wildly popular programs that bring diverse international audiences to their feet.
A classically trained pianist, Ikemiya has given solo recitals at Lincoln Center (New York City), the Smithsonian Institute (Washington, DC) and performed as a guest soloist for the St. Petersburg Symphony, the Tokyo Symphony, the Guam Symphony and the Maui Symphony, among others. He has performed alongside New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Ensemble members at the United Nations, Merkin Hall (New York), and the Golden Pavilion Temple (Kyoto, Japan). His discography of 11 albums includes “Classics to Ragtime”.
Audiences’ enthusiasm for his ragtime performances, led Ikemiya to found the New York Ragtime Orchestra in 1995. Ikemiya is credited with introducing ragtime to Japan, and tours the country with his orchestra regularly, recently performing at the Osaka Dome for 47,000 people. He is frequently invited to perform at various ragtime festivals include the Scott Joplin Festival (Sedalia, Missouri) and has recorded seven ragtime albums including “Ragtime Classics”.
During his 24 years as Artistic Director of the Arcady Music Festival (which he founded in 1980), Ikemiya had to opportunity to bring artists of incredible diversity and talent from around the world to the scenic coastal towns of Northern Maine. In 1990 he brought the St. Petersburg Boys choir to the festival to perform with a local children's choir which formed powerful bonds in the wake of the Cold War. His work for Arcady was featured on CBS Sunday Morning and he received an award from the Maine State Senate for his “contribution to the cultural life of the state.”
In recognition of the peacemaking quality of his work, Ikemiya has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards. He was given an award by the United Nations for “Promoting World Peace”; the Philharmonic Society of Krugan, Siberia, presented Mr. Ikemiya with an Honorary Certificate for strengthening the friendship between Siberian and American people through music. Ikemiya is invited annually by the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine to give a concert on the anniversary of Hiroshima in memory of the bomb victims and to promote a message of peace.
Ikemiya was born in China to Japanese parents, grew up in Kyoto and then later moved with his family to Kansas. He studied at Oberlin Conservatory (B.M.) and Indiana University (M.M.). He lives with his wife on Mount Desert Island, Maine in a passive solar house where they enjoy organic farming on their permaculture homestead, volunteer work and music. Read more about their self-sustaining life-style: www.profilesmaine.com.
Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life
Then miracle shall follow miracle
And wonders shall never cease.
Prayer for Forbearance
Let Us Have Forbearance Towards Each Other,
Let Us Rejoice Together,
Let Us All Strive Together
Let Us Live and Move in Harmony,
Let Us Grow Together,
Let Us Cherish the Wisdom That We Have Acquired Together,
Let Us Live in Harmony with Complete Understanding.
I am a link in Amida Buddha's golden chain of love that stretches around the world. In gratitude may I keep my link bright and strong.
I will try to be kind and gentle to every living thing and protect all who are weaker than myself.
I will try to think pure and beautiful thoughts to say pure and beautiful words, and to do pure and beautiful deeds.
May every link in Amida Buddha's golden chain of love be bright and strong and may we all attain perfect peace.