Tomoko Sugawara was born in Tokyo, Tomoko Sugawara began playing the Irish Harp at age twelve. She added the Concert Harp at sixteen, and graduated with a BS in harp at Tokyo University of the Arts. She studied cultural history at Seijo University in Tokyo and took up the angular harp (or kugo). The kugo is the “mother of all harps,” played 3,000 years before any European harps.
After moving to NYC, she learned to play baroque music on the Italian Triple harp: from Figured Bass to the Art of Ornamentation.
Ms. Sugawara has received many major awards: Japan Foundation twice (1999 and 2008), Asian Cultural Council trice (2007-2008, 2014 and 2018-2019), and the Dunhuang Foundation (2019).
She has given solo recitals on the kugo at major international venues, such as The World Music Institute (NYC), and World Harp Congresses (trice: Prague, Amsterdam, and Vancouver). Other places include The Early Music Guild of Seattle, The British Museum, Central China Conservatory of Music (Beijing), The Symposium on Historical Harps (Berlin), and Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She has given recitals at many US Universities: Columbia, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Illinois, Indiana, Pittsburgh, and UCBerkeley. She has led her ensemble, Eurasia Consort, at The World Music Institute.
In September 2018 and Spring 2019 she will take up a position as Visiting Researcher at Shanghai Conservatory of Music
Asian Cultural Council's 50th anniversary at the Residence of the Japanese Ambassador, 2014
Historical Harp Society concert at Amherst Early Music Festival, 2010
Mara Galassi, Cheryl Ann Fulton, Judy Kadar, Tomoko Sugawara
Eurasia Consort performance at a Midtown Concert in St. Bartholomew's Church, Manhattan, 2015
August Denhard, Tomoko Sugawara, Rex Benincasa