Since its founding in 1996 at the Juilliard School, the Murasaki Duo has been dedicated to performing the cello and piano literature as chamber music. Named in homage to Lady Murasaki, the author of the world's first novel, cellist Eric Kutz and pianist Miko Kominami weave their instruments' voices together in a unique and compelling equal partnership. The Duo has performed in North America, Europe, and Asia, including concerts in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, London, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen, and Oslo.
Beethoven and Beyond!
Variations on Mozart's "Bei Männern," WoO 46 (1801) - Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata No. 3 in A Major, Op. 69 (1808) - Beethoven
Allegro ma non tanto
Scherzo: Allegro molto
Adagio cantabile—Allegro vivace
Sonata in A minor, D. 821 "Arpeggione" (1824) - Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Hungarian Rhapsoday, Op. 68 (1894) - David Popper (1843-1913)
In 2015 the Duo released a new compact disc entitled Duo Virtuoso on the Delos label. American Record Guide praised the recording as containing "fine, beautifully balanced performances," and it concluded, "These are two outstanding musicians." The disc won the Violoncello Foundation's Listeners' Choice Award, from among all cello CD's released in 2015. Last year the Duo released a new CD featuring the complete cello/piano works of Los Angeles composer Maria Newman.
The Duo earlier released its debut compact disc—featuring works of Beethoven, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff—on the Centaur Records label. The disc was recommended by the Journal of the Atlanta Audio Society as "ebullient . . . brilliant throughout."
Advocates for new music, the Murasaki Duo actively commissions new works, in addition to performing the classics. Its program "The Commissions" features five commissioned works from 2007-2012. The Duo has been a part of leading festivals, such as the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, the Malibu Coast Music Festival, the Icicle Creek Music Center, Cello: An American Experience at St. Olaf College, and it has been broadcast on public radio stations throughout the country.
Eric Kutz teaches at the University of Maryland School of Music, where he holds the Barbara K. Steppel Memorial Cello Fellowship. He is also a member of the Left Bank Quartet and the Grant Park Orchestra. Miko Kominami is a faculty member at Luther College, and she is Principal Keyboard of Orchestra Iowa.