Welcome to APA home page

>HOME(Japanese page) > English page

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.

1.International Chamber Music Festivals

(update May 07, 2016)

A: Festivals

  1. Summer Festival, August 12-14, 2016, Kita(North) Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan.

    1.	International Chamber Music FestivalsThis is a workshop of one day rehearsal and two days concerts in summer. Preparation days are planned on July 30 and 31 in Tokyo. Chamber music players of strings, piano, woodwinds invited, to play with APA members. This is a workshop without tutors but with some guest players. Fees and accommodation (in case of 3 nights) will be around $300. Please contact us for more details.



  2.  The 2nd International Chamber Music Festival, March 22-31, 2017

    The 2nd International Chamber Music Festival, March 22-31, 2017The festival will be opened on March 22. There will be 2-3 days rehearsals and the concert will be on March 26 at Civic Center, Koganei, Tokyo and on March 30 at Kiunkaku, Atami City. We shall keep you informed in this page.






>>The 1st International Chamber Music Festival, March 9-16, 2016


B: Other APA Events

  1. Brahms Festival, May 21 and 22, 2016 at Ohta City Plaza

    18 entries including all string quartets, quintets and sextets, and violin/clarinet/cello sonatas and piano trios/quartets, to date.

  2. String Quintet Day, July 17 and 18, 2016, at Bach House Ikebukuro, Tokyo

    Any string quintets, Viola/Double Bass Quintets, can be played.

  3. The 3rd Dohnanyi Festival, November 3, 2016 at Koganei Civic Center, Tokyo

    All 9 chamber music will be performed, from Trio (Serenade) to two Sextets

  4. Annual Beethoven Festival, December 17 and 18, 2016 at Bach House, Tokyo

    All string quartets will be performed.

Contact for APA international events: Kazumichi Yoshida,  rengaku@gmail.com

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 Meting

1st Sun 13-18pm


Mr. Susumu Mabuchi


15.String Quartet M

3rd Sat 13-17pm


Mr. Shiro Kikuchi


<Nagoya area>

16.Nagoya weekend


Holiday or Sat

Nakamura Kouen

(Higashiyama line)

Ms. Maki Mito


17.Nagoya Tuesday




(Higashiyama line)

Ms. Maki Mito


<Kansai area>

18. 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/



to Top

>HOME(Japanese page) > English page