Drawing on a large range of musical influences, the Miyabi Duo is a versatile ensemble comprising Saki Kato (Japan) and Hugh Millington (UK). Together they perform a variety of music for two guitars, ranging from new compositions to their own arrangements using both the classical guitar and the Shamisen, a traditional Japanese string instrument.
With a special focus on performing new music, the Miyabi duo regularly collaborates with composers on new pieces for two guitars, some of which have been inspired by themes relating to Japan. This includes a new piece by Edward Cowie, who wrote Basho Meditations, a set of eight ‘sonic haiku’ exploring Japanese poetry. This was published in 2019 by United Music Publishing, and the duo are recording this piece on an album of Edward Cowie’s guitar works, set for release in 2021 on the Divine Arts Metier label. Other ongoing collaborations include working with composers including Timothy Bowers and Mihailo Trandafilovski, both of whom have recently dedicated music to the duo.
The duo is particularly committed to performing and working in all areas of the wider community, and since performing for the Wigmore Hall Learning’s For Crying Out Loud series, they have performed in environments including hospitals, care homes, and dementia care settings. The duo is currently a fellowship ensemble on the Open Academy/Wigmore Hall Learning programme at the Wigmore Hall in London, and in 2020 the duo was recognised through the Waldmann Music Award at Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, in acknowledgement of their work both within the concert hall and the wider community.