Ray Furuta, Flute
Raved as "The Rockstar of the Flute" (Informador de Guadalajara), Ray Furuta is highly praised for his "sophisticated" (Repeat Performances) and "strong and attractive" (San Francisco Classical Voice) performances, establishing a reputation as "one of the nation's top emerging young concert artists."(Del Mar Times)
Ray Furuta has toured as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher in countries including Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Austria, Czech-Republic, Poland, Hungary and throughout the Middle East and U.S. He has appeared at venues including Merkin Hall, Barclays Center, The Strathmore, Mann Center, Palau de la Musica, PALCCO, Instituto Cabanas, The Liszt Academy of Music, Chopin Conservatory, and Dvorak Hall, while performing for several celebrated presenters including Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Miami Chamber Music Society, The Juilliard School, Banff Centre, Ensemble San Francisco, and the Okayama, Granada (Spain), Mainly Mozart, Icicle Creek, Sarasota, Music in May, and Yellow Barn Music Festivals to name only a few. He performs frequently as a concerto artist and specializes in a wide range of concerti from the virtuosic concerti of Vivaldi to the contemporary concerti of Yuko Uebayashi, Brett Dean, and Paul Schoenfield. After performing the U.S. Premiere of Yuko Uebayashi's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, the San Jose Mercury News hailed flutist Ray Furuta as "the protege of the great flutist, Carol Wincenc" for their likeness in unique sound and musical bravura. Highlights of the 2017-18 season will feature the Ray Furuta/Bridget Kibbey duo performing Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and the a Japan recital tour and the Japanese premiere of Yuko Uebayashi's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in Okayama, Japan as part of the Okayama International Music Festival's 20th Anniversary Season.
Dedicated to chamber music, he is the Founder and Artistic Director of Chamber Music Silicon Valley, a leading arts organization based in California. He is an artist-member of the Common Sounds project, a multi-genre ensemble of western classical and world music. In addition, he maintains an active role as a flutist with several dynamic ensembles including the Furuta/Kibbey duo with harpist Bridget Kibbey, Duo Cassotto with Bosnian accordionist, Merima Kljuco, and the Burkart duo with flutist Carol Wincenc. Additionally, he has collaborated in performance with such luminaries as Peter Frankl, Jon Nakamatsu, Steven Dibner, Ian Swensen, Susan Narucki, William Sharp, The Weilersteins, and members of the Silk Road Ensemble and Juilliard, Takacs, Brooklyn Rider, Kronos, Mendelssohn, Avalon, and Emerson String Quartets.
As an avid contemporary musician, he has collaborated with and premiered works by many composers including Andy Akiho, Mark Applebaum, David Cutler, Brett Dean, Du Yun, Stacy Garrop, Huang Ruo, Lansing McLosky, Alex Mincek, Laura Schwendinger, Yuko Uebayashi, and Ken Ueno. He can be heard on recordings of Mark Applebaum and Lansing McLosky through Albany Records.
A powerful teaching artist, Ray Furuta is the Artist-Lecturer in Flute at Santa Clara University. Prior to this, and for three consecutive years, he served as a flute and chamber music lecturer for the undergraduate department at Stony Brook University as the hand-selected teaching assistant to the world-renowned Emerson String Quartet. Subsequently, he has held residencies and given master classes at institutions including San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford University, Lebanese American University of Beirut, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, San Jose State University, Gettysburg College, University of Victoria (BC), California State University at Long Beach, SUNY Albany, New York University, Pacific Lutheran University, and University of the Pacific. In addition, he is an active faculty member for Chamber Music Silicon Valley's Young Artist Program, the Silicon Valley Music Festival, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute, Imagine Music Seminar in Beirut, Festival de Camara Guadalajara, and Mission College. In past summers, he was a frequent guest teaching artist at the Coastal Flutes Summer Masterclass in San Diego.
As a recipient of the prestigious Staller Scholar Award and recognized as a Distinguished Alumni in 2016, Ray Furuta holds a doctor of musical arts degree from Stony Brook University where he was a pupil of Carol Wincenc and the Emerson String Quartet. Other important influences include flutists Jill Felber, Isabelle Chapuis and Elena Yarritu, harpsichordist Arthur Haas, and pianist, Wu Han.