Elizabeth Reian Bennett, Tokyo. Photo: Yamamoto Moriaki
“She has inclined her whole spirit towards the shakuhachi and assimilated the inner secrets of the instrument.”– Aoki Reibo, Shakuhachi, Living National Treasure and Reian Bennett’s teacher since 1979
“Traditional shakuhachi music in the hands of Reian Bennett offers to the listener an aesthetically honed music…Reian Bennett is a versatile musician…who stands out as a symbol of the changing attitude towards women and foreigners who have skillfully demonstrated their grasp of the shakuhachi repertoire.”– Susan Asai, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Northeastern University
“I have watched Reian Bennett’s artistry progress and transform over a period of twenty years. This is the authentic Japanese tradition carried on from years of contact with a Japanese master; her performance is concentrated, her sound powerful and full, her interpretation sophisticated. Close your eyes and you are transported to old Japan – open them and enjoy the fruits of our global village.” —David Locke, Professor of Ethnomusicology, Tufts University
“Grand Master of the shakuhachi Elizabeth Reian Bennett is a fearless musician whose inspiring work with living composers is wholly unique among artists trained in traditional Japanese music. Her work illuminates a pathway from the traditional to the new and from west to east and back again. In composing for her myself, and through collaborating on performances and recordings of works made specifically for her by students and colleagues, I can attest to Bennett’s devotion to fusing the finest features of inherited forms and ways with sometimes wildly new, unexpected approaches. And best of all is her enthusiastic, dedicated musicianship—she plays with fire, tenderness, and a singular beauty of tone in all of the repertory she embraces.
Through her continuing work as soloist, chamber musician, improviser, and teacher in myriad contexts, Elizabeth Reian Bennett offers a fresh perspective on the advancement of her chosen instrument. Composers, fellow performers, and listeners of all ages and persuasions are the beneficiaries of her ongoing activities on concert stages and in the finest educational venues worldwide.”—John McDonald
Composer and Pianist; Professor of Music and Music Department Chair, Tufts University