Eisaburo Kioka: The First Japanese Organist in New England
This paper focuses on pioneering Japanese organist Eisaburo Kioka’s (1895–1982) enlightening study-abroad experience in New England (1920–1924). He studied organ with Henry Dunham, Harry Jepson, and Seth Bingham at New England Conservatory and Yale and Columbia universities, respectively, prior to studies with Vierne and Widor in Paris. Based on previously undocumented primary sources found in the Kioka Reference Room in Tokyo, including original programs from concerts by leading organists of the time, including Jepson, Bingham, Farnam, Dupré, and Widor, the paper examines the American influence on pre-World War II Japanese organ history through Kioka’s pioneering work upon his return.
Mariko Morita, a native of Japan, holds Bachelor of Music, Master of Sacred Music, and Doctor of Music degrees in organ performance from Seton Hill, Emory, and Indiana universities, respectively, and performer’s certificates from the International Summer Academy in Leipzig. She has performed numerous recitals in the United States, Germany, and Japan, and her performances can be heard on NPR’s Pipedreams. Recent performances at Cornell University included the renowned University Chorus and Glee Club. Her research on the first Japanese organist, Eisaburo Kioka, was the featured article in a recent scholarly publication of the Japan Organ Society. A former music intern at West End United Methodist Church, Nashville, she was most recently the music director of Christ Episcopal Church in Corning, New York. Previously a visiting assistant professor of organ at Texas A&M International University (2006–2008), she is currently adjunct professor of music at the University of Northern Iowa.