A concert featuring home-grown, internationally acclaimed musicians will be presented June 5 to raise funds for the creation of a Japanese peace garden in memory of the late Dr. Fujiya Kawashima. Kawashima was a BGSU Asian studies professor widely recognized for his scholarly and artistic achievements, and for his work in strengthening ties between the United States and the Far East.
Vocalists Shawn Mathey and Sujin Lee and pianists Kimi Kawashima and Jason Hardink will be featured in the 7:30 p.m. concert in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.
Tickets, $25 each, are on sale at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St.; Calico, Sage and Thyme, 115 Clay St., and the Community Center, 1245 W. Newton Road. Tickets also can be ordered by mail from the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green 43402.
A native of Japan, Fujiya Kawashima came to Bowling Green in 1970 to each Asian history. He was instrumental in establishing the University’s Asian Studies Program and was working to develop a Peace Studies Program at the time of his death in 2006.
Mark J. Cyr, a leading designer of Japanese gardens in the United States, has developed plans for a half-acre Kawashima Peace Garden that will become part of the city’s Simpson Garden Park. Visitors will experience a tranquil setting complete with a waterfall and small ponds as well as flowering trees and shrubs.
Returning this month from engagements in Europe, Shawn Mathey, a tenor and Bowling Green native, is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He has appeared in numerous performances of Mozart’s operas, and his recordings include the widely distributed CD “Without a Song,” featuring him and his father, longtime BGSU faculty member Richard Mathey.
Shawn Mathey’s wife, soprano Sujin Lee, is a native of South Korea. She has a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and completed her residency at the Academy of Vocal Arts. She has appeared throughout the U.S. and Europe as Leonora in “Il Trovatore,” Liu in “Turandot” and as Cio-Cio-San with the touring company Teatro Lyrico d’Europa.
Bowling Green native Kimi Kawashima, the daughter of Fujiya and Joung-ja Kawashima, made her debut with the Toledo Symphony at the age of 14. She credits her local music teacher, retired BGSU faculty member Dr. Virginia Marks, for inspiring her career as a piano soloist, accompanist and chamber musician. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, she holds a master’s degree from Rice University, where she is completing a doctorate.
Kawashima’s husband, Jason Hardink, is principal symphony keyboard/opera rehearsal accompanist at the Utah Symphony and Opera. As a performer, he specializes in the music of Olivier Messiaen. In 2007 he performed the complete “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus” in cities across the U.S.