Michael Gilsinan

Classical guitarist, Michael Gilsinan has been a featured guitarist in concerts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.; Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia; Teatro Nacional, Casco Viejo, Panama; and Camerata Hall, Paju, South Korea.  Michael’s signature initiative has been the modernization of ancient songs using multinational instruments.

In 2010, Michael Gilsinan founded the Fort Lee School of Music.  Michael has proven to be a leader in his field with the ability to bring together a diverse group of talented professionals.  Emphasizing a strong community by encouraging collaborations amongst students with a focus on the fundamentals of music, Mr. Gilsinan continues to hone his own approach to music education. His teaching motto is “where fun meets challenging!”

Michael holds a Master’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in Guitar Performance from Mannes College the New School for Music in New York City.

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Masayo Ishigure

Kotoist, Masayo Ishigure is a true cultural ambassador having ushered in a new chapter of Japanese music.  As a recipient of the distinguished U.S. artist award reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability, Ms. Ishigure has been expanding Japanese music by combining modern elements with traditional Japanese customs. 

Masayo has been featured in multiple television broadcasts some of which included music for CBS Masterworks used during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. She has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Asia Society, Japan Society, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Kennedy Center and with the San Diego Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Symphony Orchestra.  In 2005, Masayo Ishigure was a recording artist alongside Yitzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and others on the Grammy Award-Winning soundtrack from the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” by John Williams.

Masayo Ishigure has taught koto and jiutashamisen at Columbia University since 2010 and gives private lessons in New York City, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.

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Michael Gilsinan (Extended)

Classical guitarist, Michael Gilsinan has been a featured guitarist in concerts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.; Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia; Teatro Nacional, Casco Viejo, Panama; Camerata Hall, Paju, South Korea; Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada; and The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City.  Michael’s signature initiative has been the modernization of ancient songs using multinational instruments.

In 2010, Michael Gilsinan founded the Fort Lee School of Music.  Michael has proven to be a leader in his field with the ability to bring together a diverse group of talented professionals.  Emphasizing a strong community by encouraging collaborations amongst students with a focus on the fundamentals of music, Mr. Gilsinan continues to hone his own approach to music education.  His teaching motto is “where fun meets challenging.”   

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Brannen-Cooper Foundation have all supported Michael’s musical projects. The New York Times, SBS Radio, New Jersey Record, Villa-Lobos Magazine and the Jersey City Independent have all published articles recognizing his work. Michael has been a featured guest of the Classical Guitar Insider with Bret Williams and Music Manumit Podcasts.

Michael and his wife Gigi Lau Gilsinan founded Common Grain Inc. as a platform to focus on Music and Community building.  Michael holds a Masters Degree and Bachelors Degree in classical guitar performance from Mannes School of Music at the New School in New York City.

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MASAYO ISHIGURE (Extended)

Kotoist, Masayo Ishigure is a true cultural ambassador having ushered in a new chapter of Japanese music.  As a recipient of the distinguished U.S. artist award reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability, Ms. Ishigure has been expanding Japanese music by combining modern elements with traditional Japanese customs.

Ms. Isigure moved to New York City in 1992 and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall-Weill Recital Hall, BAM, Merkin Hall, Asia Society, Japan Society, Metropolitan Museum, Symphony Space and other venues in the New York City metropolitan area. Masayo Ishigure has appeared in concerts for the World Music Institute, Japan Society, Music from Japan, the China Institute and has participated in music festivals in Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Holland, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Belarus, Jamaica, Hawaii and Alaska.

She has been featured in multiple television broadcasts some of which included music for CBS Master Works used during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.  In 2005, Masayo Ishigure was a recording artist alongside Yitzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and others on the Grammy Award-Winning soundtrack from the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” by John Williams. She recorded “Tori no Yoni”: (Flying Like a Bird) on the CD entitled “The World of Tadao Sawai”; and Hayao Miyazaki’s animation songs arranged for koto and shakuhachi on the album “East Wind Ensemble”.

Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Consul General of Japan in New York, honored Ms. Masayo Ishigure with the "Consul General’s Commendation" for her remarkable contributions to the promotion of mutual cultural understanding between Japan and the U.S.

Masayo Ishigure has taught koto and jiutashamisen at Wesleyan University, CT and Columbia University since 2010 and teaches private lessons in New York City, New Jersey and Washington DC.

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