Tomoko Sugawara enjoys playing harps in a variety of styles. Her repertory is ancient and contemporary and draws from Asia and the West. Her harps are the concert harp, Baroque Triple harp, Renaissance harp, Irish harp and a very ancient harp, the kugo.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Tomoko Sugawara began playing the Irish Harp at twelve, added the Concert Harp at sixteen, and graduated (BSc) in harp at Tokyo University of the Arts. Since 1991 she plays the Chinese konghou (in Japanese kugo), which had arisen 1900 BCE in Iran and migrated via the Silk Road to the Far East during the early first millennium CE.
After moving to NYC, Ms. Sugawara learned to read and play Figured Bass, add ornaments, and perform it all on the Italian Triple harp. Now, she leads “Eurasia Consort,” her own ensemble, which plays Silk Road music from the time it stood in highest regard.
Her main awards are: Japan Foundation (1999 and 2008), Asian Cultural Council (2007-2008, 2014, 2018-2019), the Dunhuang Foundation (2019 and 2020), NYC Cultural Affairs (2020), NYS Arts and Cultural Affairs (2020).
In 2019 she served as researcher at Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Her project was the revival of Tang Dynasty music.