Elizabeth Falconer is an American master of the Koto, a Japanese traditional zither about six feet in length with thirteen silk strings which is Japan’s national musical instrument as well. Falconer was born in July 20, 1956 and she started playing the koto in 1979. She is licensed particularly in two Japan koto schools. She got her associate degree (junshihan) from Seiha Koto School where she studied under Nagane Utayumi. Her school focused on classical works specifically.
Later on, Falconer moved in Tokyo and studied under Sawai Kazue and Sawai Tadao at Sawai Koto School. She then earned her master’s license (shihan) here which made her more inclined to contemporary works.
Currently, Falconer has a bachelor of arts in Japanese studies degree from the University of Oregon and a masters degree in Japanese Pedagogy. She also has a PhD in International Education where most of her dissertations were about koto teaching methods in Japan. Most of her works were published in Japan. She has been well-known for her work with koto music that were linked to Japanese folktales. Under her label “Koto World”, she has been able to produce different albums.
Here is a list of them:
- Deep Pool (2000)
- Plum Boy! And Other Tales From Japan (2000)
- Hana and the Dragon & Other Tales from Japan (2001)
- The Crane’s Story – Tales of Love From Japan (2002)
- Once Up in a Lilypad (2013)
- Chocolate Suite – Japanese Music for Chocolate Lovers (2014)
- Isshin – Emerging: Music for Japanese Koto (2005)
- Little Pink Fish (2005)