The Kennedy Center

Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble


The Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble was established in June 1982 for the purpose of educating and raising the level of aesthetic sensibilities of young people, and to promote Japanese culture abroad through gagaku, an ancient Japanese art.

At its inception, the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble studied under the late Fumitaka Tohgi, former principal court conductor of the Music Department at the Imperial Household Agency. The roots of the Tohgi family go back to the era of Prince Shotou (574-622). Since then, the Tohgi have safeguarded the musical traditions of gagaku or ancient court music, and passed them down through a rich oral tradition.

Currently, the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble receives lessons from Shogo Anzai, court musician of the Music Department at the Imperial Household Agency. In July, 2011, the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble was incorporated to further promote its activities abroad.

Watch Past Performances

Video 4/15/2012: Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble

The group plays a program of gagaku (Japanese court music). Part of the 2012 National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble