The composers focus on the concert, first CD

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The highlight of the recital will be the premiere of a piece commissioned by cellist Yoshika Masuda and written especially for him and pianist HyeJin Kim by Native American composer Reena Esmail.

(THOUSAND OAKS, CA – March 18, 2022) A recital of cello and piano music at California Lutheran University will consist entirely of works written by female composers.

Cellist Yoshika Masuda, Director of String Studies at Cal Lutheran, and guest pianist HyeJin Kim will present the faculty recital at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 3 at Samuelson Chapel.

They will perform works for cello and piano written by female composers over a period of 250 years. The concert will help Masuda prepare to record his first CD, which is funded in part by a Cal Lutheran Faculty Research and Creative Work Award.

“My goal with this recital and this CD is not just to shine a light on these underrated female composers, but to shine a light on their talent and skills as great composers,” Masuda said.

The concert will feature hidden gems and well-known works. The highlight will be the creation of a piece commissioned by Masuda and written especially for the duo by Native American composer Reena Esmail. The 2020-2023 Swan Family Artist-in-Residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale was the 2020-21 Composer-in-Residence of the Seattle Symphony, a 2019 American Artist in Music, and a 2017-18 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist.

“I love the language of his music,” Masuda said. “Reena’s music integrates western harmony with the harmonies found in traditional Indian music. She does a great job of marrying East and West by merging the two very different sonic worlds.

The concert will also feature pieces by Amy Beach, America’s first successful composer of large-scale art music; Nadia Boulanger; Clara Schumann; and Rita Strohl.

Masuda, who was born in Japan, is assistant professor of music at Cal Lutheran. He started playing the cello at the age of 5 and studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK, where he graduated with honours. A recipient of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe String Scholarship Award, he has won national competitions in Australia, Japan and the United States and has performed in the United States, Europe and Asia. He holds a doctorate in musical arts from USC.

Born in South Korea, Kim came to international attention at 17 when she placed third at the prestigious Busoni Piano Competition in Italy as the youngest entrant. Since then, she has received numerous awards, including prizes at the Hong Kong and Toronto International Piano Competitions. She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Russian State Philharmonic, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and made her recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2016. She teaches at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.

Donations will be accepted. Spectators must wear masks. For more information, contact the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or [email protected], or visit

Jack L. Goldstein