Kono Michi

Kono Michi is the pop-music persona of the highly talented Californian/Japanese violinist Michi Wiancko:

Michi’s homepage, both in English and Japanese [日文], provides more information about her current projects and performances.

Michi and I studied together at the Cleveland Institute of Music, a highly-ranked and rather competitive institution whose guts in which we churned looked like this:

CIM hallway
Practice room hallway, Cleveland Institute of Music; photo by Adam Cathcart

Fortunately our teachers’ studios, and the camraderie among students, were more congenial than the cinder blocks and soundproof doors might otherwise indicate.   It was what a great undergraduate education should be: uplifting, difficult, tapping deep reserves, charged through with trembling thoughts of the pending crisis of freedom, enriching, full of wild and divergent types of personalities and demanding teachers.  Not all of us went on to get orchestra jobs, although the school’s emphasis on that particular career path for instrumentalists (or the creation of that rare breed, the orchestral soloist) lent the education a certain inexorable momentum toward thoughtful careerism.  Yet, somehow amidst the blind-peer-reviewed mock auditions of orchestral repertoire classes and mandatory tutoring in eurhythmic dance, we bent our traditional conservatory education toward slightly different sets of goals.

Not that diminutive bodhisattvas of chamber music would mind.

Michi was, and remains, a mean classicist when the occasion warrants — I have heard her blaze through Bach fugues for solo violin as well as Brahms string quartets.  Whether she is on her new home turf of that artistic mecca of Brooklyn, in California, Asia, or Europe, in whatever genre, she is an artist worth hearing.

And she is an innovator!  Enjoy the music.


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