From Publishers Weekly
An associate professor at the University of Hawaii, Yoshihara (Embracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism
) delivers a comprehensive cultural, historical and ethnographic study of Asians and Asian-Americans who pursue Western classical music in the United States. At age three, she began piano lessons in Japan. After moving to California at 11, she started more rigorous musical training. Passing up the conservatory, she chose to major in American studies at the University of Tokyo, eventually returning to the U.S. as an academic. This study is the result of her in-depth interviews with 70 orchestra members, soloists and university and conservatory faculty, as well as her own experiences of master classes, auditions, a recording session, workshops and some 100 concerts. Describing Asian musicians' personal histories, roots, gender dynamics, experiences and goals, she dispels common misconceptions, such as the assumption that Asians have a natural affinity for Asian music. Yoshihara's scholarly background and musicianship merge in this probing, authoritative survey. The extensive bibliography lists sources in both English and Japanese. 18 b&w illus. not seen by PW
. (Oct. 28)
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"An excellent overview of the role that Asians and Asian Americans have come to play in the world of Western classical music. It is beautifully written, extremely lucid, and well researched. What is particularly enlightening here is the author's dedication in seeking out many musicians to interview and her integration of these stories into a coherent whole."
—Timothy D. Taylor, Professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology, University of California, Los Angeles