Brandon University pianist Megumi Masaki has been named to the Order of Manitoba.
Masaki is a pianist and music professor at Brandon University who is specially interested in exploring how sound, image, text and movement can be integrated in live multimedia performance and how the creative application of new technologies and approaches can expand how concert music is created and performed. Among her interests is a devotion to the advancement of Manitoba composer Sophie Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté’s music.
“I feel fortunate to have immigrated to and grown up in Manitoba, a province that has a vibrant music community and advances greater inclusion of minority groups for a rich multicultural mosaic,” Masaki said. “As a Japanese-Canadian musician, I am grateful to the Manitoba Japanese United Church and Japanese Cultural Association for fostering Japanese and Japanese-Canadian culture and heritage. Their work has been a tremendous inspiration for me to explore Japanese-Canadian and multi-racial experiences and history through music.”
“I believe music can be transformative and holds a powerful role in making our communities just and equitable. Throughout my career, I have championed hundreds and created over 70 new Canadian and Manitoban works that reimagines the piano, pianist and performance space. I am grateful to Brandon University on Treaty 2 Lands, our community and Elders for supporting my work to mobilize collaborations that seek positive social and environmental change through creating music and engaging a wide audience in impactful experiences that motivate dialogue and action. One of my most meaningful experiences is to have founded the Brandon University Indigenous New Music Festival together with Indigenous Elders and musicians to further reconciliation.”
“I am deeply honoured and thrilled to receive the Order of Manitoba.”
The announcement was made Thursday, May 12, which is Manitoba Day.
“Megumi Masaki has been a leader in our faculty for years, crossing disciplinary boundaries in inventive and compelling ways and committing wholeheartedly to work that embodies truth and reconciliation,” said Greg Gatien, BU’s Dean of Music. “We are fortunate to have her in this community, and thrilled that her contributions she has made through such a distinguished career, are being recognized in this way. We are truly proud of our colleague, whose accomplishments and actions are part of what makes our School of Music such an amazing and inspiring place to work and study.”
Masaki has been at Brandon University since 2006, and she maintains an extremely active performance career, as well as significant involvement with music councils and music festivals.
“A celebrated pianist, educator and curator, Megumi Masaki has contributed to music excellence for decades,” read the Order of Manitoba announcement.” As a Japanese-Canadian artist, her work examines the connection with multiracial identity, aligning with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She was artistic director of the annual Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition supporting Canadian composers. Living in Brandon, she has an impeccable international reputation.”
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