AUN J Classic Orchestra « Japan Foundation Japan Foundation


Japan’s former cultural envoy “AUN” come back to Vietnam with their own orchestra

In celebration of 40th Year of ASEAN – Japan Friendship and Cooperation as well as the Japan – Vietnam Friendship Year 2013, the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam proudly co-hosts a music concert by AUN J Classic Orchestra on Thursday 12 December in Hanoi.

AUN J Classic Orchestra is a unique orchestra formed in 2008 by eight excellent Japanese traditional musicians to deliver the simple but strong message to the audience worldwide, “Japanese traditional music instruments are plain, simple and cool!”

With this mission and their belief “music has not border, but roots”, AUN J Classic Orchestra has been actively performing in more than 70 places all over Japan, as well as in foreign countries including France, Italy, China, Papua New Guinea and Croatia, to convey the beauty of Japanese culture in music.

The eight young Japanese musicians are all active at the forefront, earning awards in Japan and abroad, covering major Japanese traditional instruments such as Taiko (Japanese drums),
Shamisen (three-stringed Japanese lute), Koto (13-stringed Japanese zither), Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), Shinobue (Japanese transverse flute), and Narimono (Japanese percussions).

The core members of AUN J Classic Orchestra, Kohei & Ryohei are twin brothers and form a duo unit called “AUN” who was Japan’s former cultural envoy to South East Asia in 2011. Their performance with the Japanese percussionist Hide (also a member of AUN J Classic Orchestra) in Hanoi caused a sensation at the time.

Having experienced collaboration with AUN in 2011, Ngo Tra My & Nguyen Thanh Thuy, distinguished Vietnamese traditional musicians, will also join AUN J Classic Orchestra to add the beauty of Vietnamese culture in the program.

The concert will start at 20:00 on Thursday 12 December 2013 at Youth Theatre (11 Ngo Thi Nham, Hanoi) with free admission for ticket holders. The free tickets will be distributed from 14:00 on Friday 29 November 2013 onward at the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam (27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi / TEL 04 3944 7419).

Organizer: One Asia Joint Concert Executive Committee
Co-organizer: The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam
Patronage: Embassy of Japan in Vietnam
Special sponsor: Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.
Sponsor: Vietnam Airlines
Date & Time: Thursday 12 December 2013
[Open] 19:30 [Start] 20:00
Venue: Youth Theatre
11 Ngo Thi Nham, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi
Free ticket distribution:
[From 2pm on Friday 29 November onward]
The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam
27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
[Opening hours] 09:00 – 18:00 (no closed days)

AUN J Classic Orchestra

Members Instruments
Ryohei Inoue Taiko, Shamisen
Kohei Inoue Taiko, Shamisen, Shinobue
Hideki Ishigaki Shakuhachi
Hideki Onoue Chuzao Shamisen
Azumi Yamano Koto
Shin Ichikawa Koto
Hide Japanese percussions
Michiko Yamada Shinobue
Guest musicians Instruments
Ngo Tra My Dan bau (one-stringed Vietnamese zither)
Nguyen Thanh Thuy Dan tranh (plucked zither of Vietnam)

1new-5737121Ngo Tra My & Nguyen Thanh Thuy

They are lecturers at Vietnam National Academy of Music and performed together with Japan’s Cultural Envoy, AUN and Hide in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2011.

21-8722997AUN J Classic Orchestra

Japanese musical instruments can be plain, simple, and cool!

This is the concept of AUN J Classic Orchestra. All the major Japanese traditional musical instruments are incorporated, including Taiko, Shamisen ,Koto, Shakuhachi, Shinobue, and Narimono.

Based on their notion that “music has not border, but roots,” the twin brothers and Taiko artists Ryohei and Kohei aimed at conveying the beauty of Japan’s culture and its musical instruments, then formed AUN J Classic Orchestra along with the young artists of Koto and Shakuhachi. In December 2008, AUN J Classic Orchestra released their first album Wagakki de Ghibli. In their fifth anniversary year of 2013 on March 13, the original album Hachinin no Hibiki –Resonance of the Eight was released counting their fifth. Today, their work is expanding not only within Japan but to the world.

Until now, AUN J Classic Orchestra has performed in more than 70 places all over Japan. The locations include many cultural heritages such as Ise Jingu Shrine, Yoshino Zaodo Hall. In the spring of 2010, their live concert was held in the monastery at Le Mont-Saint-Michel in France, the occasion of which marked the first time in the monastery’s history. In the autumn of the following year, the performances journeyed around UNESCO World Heritage in Rome and San Marino. Then in the fall 2012, they played with a local symphony orchestra in Dubrovnik, Croatia. All of these performances abroad had been broadcasted on BS Nippon Television during the period of the three consecutive years starting from 2010 each as a two-hour special program. Such international stage at World Heritage Sites in collaboration with a TV program is being planned this year as well, this time in Asia.

In addition to the BS Nippon Television’s programs, AUN J Classic Orchestra regularly appears on air in the programs such as Daimei no nai Ongakukai (TV Asahi), Hanamaru Market (TBS), Shiki no Hibiki and Nihongo de Asobo (NHK).

AUN J Classic Orchestra has been appointed Sakura Ambassador by Yoshino town in Nara prefecture whose role is to promote the town as the place for sightseeing. Furthermore, they continue to contribute in passing along the soul of the country to children by planting sakura trees and live performances at over 60 nationwide elementary schools.


2008 “Wagakki de Ghibli” (Studio Ghibli’s music played on Japanese instruments)
2010 -SAKURA- [lit. Cherry Blossoms]
2011 Michi Road J Classic 1
2012 Utsukushiki Nihon no Hibiki [lit. Beautiful Japanese Sounds]
2013 Hachi-nin no Hibiki [lit. Eight Echoes]

3-7494965Ryohei Inoue (Taiko, Shamisen)
Kohei Inoue (Taiko, Shimisen, Shinobue)

The twin brothers participated in the taiko drumming troupe Ondekoza at the age of eighteen and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York four times. Named Japanese Cultural Envoys in 2011 by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, they have played at over 1,300 occasions in 40 countries.

4-5775224 Hideki Ishigaki (Shakuhachi)

Having studied shakuhachi under YAMAMOTO Hozan, a Living National Treasure of Japan, Ishigaki is a Tozanryu master with the art name ISHIGAKI Seizan II. At the 16th Japanese HOUGAKU music contest, Ishibashi was awarded the Grand Prix, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Prize in 2010.

5-3027993 Hideki Onoue (Chuzao Shamisen)

Onoue formed with ISHIGAKI Hideki the performance unit Hide-Hide in 2006. In 2010, Onoue received a Special Prize (the first prize) at the 1st Terem International Crossover Music Contest. He is a Fujimotoryu assistant master.

6-5103332 Azumi Yamano (Koto)

Born in Yamaguchi prefecture, Yamano performed at the Hermitage Japan-Russia International Music Festival as a soloist along with an orchestra in 2007. She has toured extensively in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

7-5878663 Shin Ichikawa (Koto)

Born as the son of ADACHI Seiga, the third head of the Seigenkai school of Ikutaryu in Akita prefecture, Ichikawa was given the Grand Prix, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Prize at the 16th Japanese HOUGAKU music contest in 2001.

8-5012425 Hide (Narimono)

After performing with the taiko performance group Kodo since 1987, Hide became independent in 2004 and has been performing solo as Narimonoshi Hide. He enjoys a great reputation especially with chappa.

9-8896774 Michiko Yamada (Shinobue)

Having studied shinobue under ISSHO Yukihiro who belongs to Issoryu of nogaku, Yamaji vigorously pursues her unique genre-free style while firmly maintaining her roots in classical Japanese music.

■ Selected images for PR


Press release:


For inquiries and interviews with the musicians, please contact at:

Ms. Da Huong / Huong (04-3944-7419 ext: 113 or 106) / Mr. Yoshioka (0123-384-4138) The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam

27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam TEL 04 3944 7419