Kaneko & Akiho

Join the Omaha Symphony for a world premiere from the trailblazing and Grammy-nominated composer Andy Akiho, with a work commissioned in honor of Omaha's own world-renowned visual artist, Jun Kaneko.

Holland Center
Friday, Mar 17 | 7:30 PM
Saturday, Mar 18 | 7:30 PM


Ankush Kumar Bahl Music Director More
Andy Akiho Composer More
Karina Brazas Soprano More
Jeni Houser Soprano More
Conor McDonald Baritone More

Program Info

  • BEETHOVEN: Overture to Fidelio

  • BEETHOVEN: Prisoner's Chorus from Fidelio

  • PUCCINI: Interlude and Humming Chorus from Madame Butterfly

  • MOZART: Der Holle Rache (Queen of the Night) from The Magic Flute

  • MOZART: Papageno & Papagena Duet from The Magic Flute

  • ANDY AKIHO: Omaha Symphony Commission Honoring Jun Kaneko (World Premiere)

Join the Omaha Symphony for an evening in honor of Omaha’s own world-renowned visual artist Jun Kaneko, recipient of the International Sculpture Center’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Celebrating Kaneko’s extraordinary artistry through images and music, the program features a world premiere by trailblazing and critically acclaimed composer Andy Akiho, and music from the three Kaneko-designed operas:  Beethoven’s Fidelio, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, and Mozart’s The Magic Flute. 

More than the concert

The concert and commission are just a part of honoring Jun and Ree Kaneko as the Dick and Mary Holland Leadership Award recipients which is given each year at the Omaha Symphony gala.

  • If you'd like to learn more about the 2023 Omaha Symphony Gala, click here.
  • If you'd like to learn more about the Omaha Symphony Gala After Party, click here.

Hs 2

Jun Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1942. He studied painting with Satoshi Ogawa during his adolescence. In 1963, he came to the United States to continue his studies at Chouinard Art Institute when his introduction to Fred Marer drew him to sculptural ceramics. Kaneko proceeded to study with Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, and Jerry Rothman in California during the time now defined as The Contemporary Ceramics Movement in America. The following decade, Kaneko taught at some of the nation’s leading art schools.

Based in Omaha since 1986, Jun Kaneko has worked at several experimental studios around the world. Over the course of his career, he has partnered with industrial facilities to realize large-scale, hand-built sculptures. The first of these projects was his 1982-1983 Omaha Project at Omaha Brickworks. Later endeavors include his Fremont Project, completed in 1992-1994, and his Pittsburg Project completed in 2004-2007. Most recently, Jun has been working at Trate Arte ceramics studio in Cuernavaca, experimenting with new glazes and unprecedented scale with the unpredictable raku process.

Kaneko is increasingly drawn to installations that promote civic interaction, realizing over seventy public art commissions from 1985 to present. Many are large-scale permanent installations that can be seen across the United States and internationally.

His artwork appears in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions annually and is included in more than eighty museum collections. Kaneko received Commendation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Master of the Media from the James Renwick Alliance, Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship from the American Craft Council, Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center, and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, the Royal College of Art in London, and the University of Pécs in Hungary.

Jun Kaneko has designed three opera productions; Puccini’s Madame Butterfly (2006), Beethoven’s Fidelio (2008), and Mozart’s The Magic Flute (2012) which have toured throughout the United States.

Programs, artists, dates, and times subject to change.

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