School of Music

Kozue Matsumoto

Kozue Matsumoto

Born and raised in the Tohoku (東北) area in Japan and having lived in Tokyo as well, Kozue is now based in the Los Angeles area. She has played the koto since she was three years old under Ikuta-ryu (生田流) Miyagi-kai (宮城会) and holds a semi-master title (準師範). She has also played the shamisen and the shinobue since she was small.

In North America, she has been collaborating with various musicians and movement, visual, installation, and other artists. Not only does she play traditional, contemporary, and experimental music, but she also improvises, composes, and creates mixed media arts.

Together with her creative works and inter-disciplinary collaborations with various artists, she has a strong interest in exploring the possibilities of bringing Japanese traditional sounds and performing arts beyond their conventional contexts. She has contributed her koto sounds to 2020 Tokyo Olympics (postponed) as well as Ghost of Tsushima, a PS4 game released in 2020.

She has performed at various projects and performances including MicroFest (Los Angeles CA), Lucas Artists Residency at Montalvo Arts Center (Saratoga, CA), Center for World Music (San Diego, CA), Desert X (Coachella Valley, CA), SASSAS (Los Angeles, CA), Improvisation Summit of Portland (Portland, OR), Time-Based Art Festival (Portland, OR), Washington Street Art Center (Boston, MA), The Fuse Factory Electronic and Digital Arts Lab (Columbus, OH), Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (Vancouver, Canada), and Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble (Vancouver, Canada).

While being a Japanese music ensemble instructor at California Institute of the Arts, she has been invited as a guest lecturer by schools in California and also travels throughout the USA for lectures, master classes and workshops.