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APA (Amateur Music Player’s Association, Japan (APA), was established in 1974. APA is nationwide network which consists of over 1100 amateur musicians in Japan. 640menbers are in Metropolitan area and 340members are at Kansai area and more than 120 members are in other area in Japan.

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1.The 2nd International Chamber Music Festival

March 15-24 2017 (update Sept.20 2016)

This plan contains tentative information and will be updated. Please feel free to contact K. Yoshida,rengaku@gmail.com





March 2017





Mar. 15 (Wed)



Reception at Musashi-Sakai Area

Mar. 16(Thu)


at Miyaji-Gakki at Koganei

Mar. 17(Fri)


at Miyaji-Gakki at Koganei

Mar. 18(Sat)


Rehearsals can be arranged

Mar. 19(Sun)



Dinner Party

at Miyaji-Gakki Hall

Mar. 20(Mon)


at Miyaji-Gakki at Koganei

Mar. 21(Tue)

Free (Tour to Kamakura)

Rehearsals can be arranged

Mar. 22(Wed)

Bus tour to Hakone and then Atami

all players and partners

Mar. 23(Thu)



Dinner Party

at Kiunkaku, Atami

Mar. 24(Fri)

Departure day


Miyaji-Gakki (former Koganei Civic Center) is located in front of JR Musashi-Koganei Station, which is about 17km west of Shinjuku Terminal or 23km west of Tokyo Station or 35min. by JR (Japan Railway) from Tokyo Station. Atami is a sea side resort, about 100km away from Tokyo and around 50 min. from Tokyo Station by Shinkansen (the bullet train).
From Atami Station you can go to other cities by Shinkansen easily. We can arrange to keep instruments by Japanese participants during your journey in Japan if you wish. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361.html

2.Concert Style

The concerts at Koganei in Tokyo on March 19th Sunday and in Atami on March 23rd Thursday will be from 14pm to 17pm, performed by preformed or mixed groups with Japanese players. Rehearsals will be available on 16th, 17th, 18th, 20th and 21st. Music for mixed groups will be arranged according to your request. It can be a whole or partial movements. The concerts will be publically announced and we expect full audience in the hall or at least we try to fill up the hall.


In Principal, the cost for rehearsals rooms and concert halls will be evenly shared by all participants. A small amount of other expenses such as printing and advertisements will be added. Expenses will be made available after all the bookings/arrangements are made.
For your information, Fees for the concerts and rehearsals will be around $100-120 depending on the nos. of participants. This includes bus tour to Atami.
The dinner parties after the concerts will cost about €35 per person. So far it is not possible to offer you a lump sum cost for this festival as we don’t know details of participants.


Accommodations will be arranged upon your request of the location, preference and period. The following are the hotel convenient for the rehearsals. The room charges are currently under negation.
(utilized exchange rate below is \115/ €)
In Tokyo

a:Hotel METS, normal single room ca.€ 117/night or double room ca.€203/night, tax and breakfast included. http://www.jrhotelgroup.com/eng/code/codeeng124.htm (Click English page) 

b: Citytel Musahisakai, (Expected charges) single room €80/night, double room and twin room €120, tax included but breakfast not included
Both hotels are located next to JR Musashisakai Station. Koganei Miyaji-Gakki Hall at Musashi-Koganei Station is about 5min. (2nd station) by JR line.

c. Home stay could be arranged at Japanese players’ houses, if you wish. 

d. If you prefer to stay in another accommodation of your own choice please let us know as soon as the hotel is booked.


In Atami City

  1. Hotel: Atami sea side resort is recommendable
  2. Inexpensive guest rooms could be arranged. (by Mr. Yoshida)

5.Travel in Japan

We have a plan of a tour in Tokyo; It will be either Tokyo Bay cruise and visit to Asakusa district, or visit to Kamakura City. We shall arrange partners programs.

We can assist your whole travel plan in Japan. For your information JR (Japan Railways) has a cost effective service, so-called “Japan Rail Pass”. The pass is valid for a week or two, on almost all trains operated on the nationwide network including Shinkansen (the bullet train), express and local trains whole in Japan.  http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361.html


We shall send you the registration form upon your inquiry. If you prefer to join only one concert either in Tokyo or Atami and not 2 concerts, please tell us your preference.


7.Site Information

JAPAN map01
JAPAN map02


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2.Regular Ensemble Meeting

in Metropolitan area  Nagoya area and Kansai area

If interested in joining us, please contact with a contact person;


Regular date


Contact person

1. Seibu line Meeting

2nd Sun.13-17pm


Mr. Hideki Isochi


2. Saitama Meeting

3rd Sat or Sun 13-17pm


Mr. Kuniyuki Goto


3. Saitama appoint-

ment Meeting

4th Sunday 13-17pm


Ms. Megumi Yanagawa


4. Den-en Toshi Meeting

3rd or 4th Sun 13-17pm

Aobadai(Tokyu line)

Mr. Tohro Iozawa


5. Toyoko Line Meting

last Sat13-21pm

Okurayama(Tokyu line)

Mr. Takashi Arai


6. Shonan Meeting

2nd or 3rd Sat 13-17pm

Ofuna (JR)

Mr. Shinji Matsumoto


7. Kashiwa Meeting

3rd Sun 13-18pm

Shin-kashiwa(Tobu line)

Mr. Nobuo Usuda


8. Katsushika Meeting

2nd or 3rd Sat 13-17pm

Aoto(Keisei line)

Mr.Takunobu Yamashita


9.Chuosen Meeting

1st Sat or Sun 13-17pm


Mr. Kazumichi Yoshida


10. Tamakai Meeting

1st Fri 13-17pm

Tamagawa-Jyosui(Seibu-Haijima Line)

Mr.Katsumi Yanagi


11.Thursday Meeting

1st Thurs 11am-17pm

Korakuen(Marunouchi subway line)

Hitoshi Muramatsu


12.CD grade Meeting

Holiday or Sun 13-18

APA club room


Mr. Masahiro Ohashi


13.Tuesday Meeting

Every Tue 13-17pm


Ms. Makiko Miyake


14.Flute Meeting

1st Sun 13-18pm


Mr. Susumu Mabuchi


15.String Quartet Mtg

3rd Sat 13-17pm


Mr. Shiro Kikuchi


16.Chiba Meeting
(Cembalo Mtg)

& Winter


Mr. Fumihiro Hamada


<Nagoya area>

17.Nagoya weekend


Holiday or Sat

Nakamura Kouen

(Higashiyama line)

Ms. Maki Mito


18.Nagoya Tuesday




(Higashiyama line)

Ms. Maki Mito


<Kansai area>

19. Shukugawa weekday strings

3rd Tue 13-17pm

Shukugawa(Hankyu line)

Mr. Kyozo Makino

20.Kyoto Weekday Meeting

2nd Tue 11am-17pm


Mr. H.A.Shapiro

21.Introduction Meeting

1st Sun

Juso(Hankyu line)

Mr. Yohei Yamada


22. Keihan Meeting

Sun (4 times a year)

Hirakata(Keihan line)

Ms. Kaoru Tsujimoto


Entrance fee 2000JPY/person
For more information on the APA activities please contact;
Mr. Masao & Mrs. Fumiko Nagata e-mail: info@apa-music.org
APA office: e-mail: apa@zb3.so-net.ne.jp

3.Three months in Tokyo

Impressions from an econometrician, amateur cellist

Jan R. Magnus(May 2007)

I am a professor of econometrics (a field combining economics, mathematics, and statistics) from The Netherlands, and I was invited at the Department of Economics of the University of Tokyo for a three-months visit: February-April 2007. Before setting out to Tokyo I wrote to a few people of the Amateur Chamber Music Players (ACMP) of which I am a member. This is a non-profit association that facilitates informal playing by people of all nationalities, usually of very good level. There are over 5,000 members worldwide and about forty or so in Japan. Several of the ACPM members introduced me to APA and their local activities.

The result has been amazing. I have been invited to play with groups in Okurayama (twice), Nerima, and Saitama, and I also played privately with smaller groups at people’s homes.

I did not bring my cello, but the organizers always provided one, mostly of very good quality. At the first meeting in Okurayama we played the Schubert quintet, Brahms first sextet and the Mendelssohn octet. The Japanese don’t get tired quickly! They just continue to play for many hours. I was quite tired after a few hours, also because the chairs are designed for Japanese players and therefore much too low for me, which is a problem when you play the cello. Afterwards we had dinner with a few people in a restaurant close by. I had the most fantastic time.

With the Nerima group we played Mozart KV458, Mozart flute quartet, and Brahms first sextet, and with the Saitama group Mozart’s clarinet quintet and (again) the Brahms sextet. The atmosphere is always very friendly. There are some players who are excellent musicians, but there are also some not so good players or players who used to be good when they were a bit younger. But everybody plays together in a most friendly and supportive atmosphere, and afterwards goes out to drink and eat. At my second visit to Okurayama, we played the Mendelssohn octet again and also the Shostakovich piano trio (which I had fortunately studied in Holland).

I was particularly pleased to be invited several times at people’s homes. The hosts were always so polite to choose pieces with interesting cello parts, such as Mozart KV 575, and the second Borodin quartet. After my wife arrived, (who plays the violin) we played twice in a home environment, which made her stay much more memorable.

My stay in Tokyo was my first visit to Japan, and I had a very interesting time, seeing and learning a lot about Japan. Music has been an important element in my visit to Tokyo. It has made me feel at home. Musicians are pretty much the same everywhere, and I can now count till four in Japanese. I wondered before whether music making would be different in Tokyo and in Amsterdam. Not much different, I think, except perhaps that I found the discipline to be very high in the groups I have played with. They like to take fast movements not too fast, and then they stick to this tempo all through the movement, also in the easier passages!

I wish to thank everybody who helped organize my musical visits, everybody I played with, and in particular those who invited me to their homes. You are all very welcome to visit me in Amsterdam.

4.Enjoying Chamber Music in Tokyo and at Kawaguchiko

By Margaret Mehl (Copenhagen City, Violin)

Ihad my first taste of chamber music in Japan back in 1988/89 with the chamber music club at the University of Tokyo when I was a research student there working towards a Ph.D. in Japanese Studies at the University of Bonn. In recent years my stays in Japan have been too short and too busy to allow me to explore the local chamber music scene. This year, however, a long overdue sabbatical in Japan has given me this opportunity. So I contacted the APA for details about their regular local meetings and the annual Autumn Music Festival at Lake Kawaguchi at the foot of Mount Fuji, recently designated a world heritage site.

The monthly meetings at the APA’s headquarters in Shinjuku turned out to be only a short bus ride (or even a walk) from my lodgings near Waseda University, so one Saturday in August, I arrived at the tiny two-room apartment to play second violin in Haydn’s ‘Sunrise’ and first violin in Beethoven’s Op. 59.1. I found the atmosphere most welcoming and my fellow-players well-prepared (the players and programmes for the meetings are arranged in advance). A tea break between sessions helped us to get to know each other and exchange information.

By the time I arrived at Lake Kawaguchi, I had played at another meeting in Shinjuku and at a “Toyoko-line regular meeting” (held near a station along the principal private railway line between Tokyo and Yokohama), so I met several familiar faces. The night before, one of the organizers had phoned me to check that I knew where I was going, answer any questions I might have and generally reassure me. Besides, countless e-mails had been exchanged and copies of sheet music sent around between players from the seven ensembles I was scheduled to be part of, so I felt confidentthat we were all going to have a good time.

IAPA 合奏風景was not disappointed. I played in seven ensembles as well as a relaxing baroque session where we sight-read trio sonatas in shifting formations; the players not needed listening or chatting over tea and coffee in the adjoining kitchen. The kitchen provided a social space throughout most of the weekend. In my experience there is nothing like a communal kitchen for encouraging communication, whether cross- inter- or intra-cultural.

The two-hour slots for each ensemble provided enough time to get through even a larger work, or to play through a shorter work twice and to take a break and just chat. Chamber music is after all, or should be, a social as well as a musical event. This was also underlined by the very pleasantly informal barbecue on the first night and the party on the second night – not to mention the drinking and socializing that continued into the small hours.

The level of playing seemed quite high, whether because the organizers wished to ensure that the foreign guest played in better company than she deserved or whether because only the best players dare to attend the festival I do not know. Perhaps even more importantly, everyone was prepared – even if everybody, including myself, said (and probably truly felt) that they had not prepared well enough – and committed to make the ensemble work.

APAUnlike other chamber music courses I have been to, the Kawaguchiko Music Festival is not designed to provide coaching for all the participants. Instead, it offers the chance to sign up for play-with-a-pro sessions which include coaching as well as coached workshops for each instrument. This year members of the Hymnus String Quartet had been invited, a young quartet formed in 2010. I participated in a violin workshop where the quartet’s violinists guided us through the solo parts of Bach’s Double Concerto in d minor and played in a quartet where we played Haydn’s ‘Lark’, led by Kobayashi-sensei, the first violinist of the Hymnus. The quartet session provided a wonderful opportunity to study Haydn’s famous work and amateur favourite more closely and pay attention to details that are easily overlooked in a casual play-through.

APAOne of several highlights of the extended weekend was playing the Mendelssohn Octet on Monday morning before going home. All the players had come prepared (some had even rehearsed their parts late the night before) and made every effort to make the ensemble work. The result was that the octet actually came together quite well – in contrast to my previous experiences playing the octet, whether the performance soon came to resemble a shipwreck with everyone scrambling desperately for the shore.

I learnt a few new Japanese words during the weekend: ‘beren’ for ‘Bärenreiter edition’, ‘menpachi for ‘Mendelssohn Octet’ (nice one; ‘Men’ is ‘Mendelssohn’ and ‘pachi’ comes from ‘hachi’, Japanese for ‘8’), and ‘sekobai’ for ‘second violin’ (although I suspect this sounds as vulgar in Japanese as it does in English and propose that it be erased from the language).

Mt.Fuji, APAOf course, the million dollar question that everybody is going to ask me is, is playing chamber music with Japanese different than playing with Europeans? At the end of the day, I do not think it is. I have played in at least six countries with people from even more nations, and it seems to me that the greatest variety is between individual ensembles, independent of national boarders and cultural divides. European classical music has long ceased to be a monopoly of the Europeans. It has truly become world heritage.

Moreover, unlike Mount Fuji, this world heritage can travel and therefore be enjoyed by people practically anywhere in the world. Nothing could be better proof of this than the activities of APA and I am grateful to the organizers and all the members I met for their hospitality.

(More information:  http://notbylovealone.com/



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