Mariko Anno is a bilingual Japanese American from Chicago. She is Associate Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology and a former Toyota Visiting Professor (2018–19) at the University of Michigan, Center for Japanese Studies. Anno holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Tokyo University of the Arts (Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku) and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She recently published a book entitled Piercing the Structure of Tradition: Flute Performance, Continuity, and Freedom in the Music of Noh Drama (Cornell University Press, 2020). This first English-language monograph on the nohkan investigates flute performance in Noh as a space for exploring the relationship between tradition and innovation.
On scholarships from the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT, Monbukagakushō) and Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation, Anno spent several years researching Noh in Tokyo. She is a specialist in the nohkan (Noh flute) and well versed in the musical aspects of Noh including kotsuzumi (shoulder drum), ōtsuzumi (hip drum), taiko (stick drum), shimai (dance), and utai (chant). Her research examines the creative processes in transforming Japanese Noh into English language productions and analyzing the text-music relationship of the two disparate languages. She is a member of Theatre Nohgaku, an international troupe committed to performing Noh in both English and Japanese, and has performed with them in Japan, China, Hong Kong, and the U.S.
Anno has taught courses in ethnomusicology at Lake Forest College, and Japanese music and theatre at Rikkyo University, University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a certified American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) teacher. She trained under Joan and Alexander Murray at the Urbana Center for the Alexander Technique, and has taught Alexander Technique in the U.S. and Japan since 2006.
(Image © David Surtasky)