title_biography.jpg_DSC1237-003.jpgPhoto : Kenshu Shintsubo 

Ryoko Aoki

Ryoko Aoki obtained a BA and a Master of Music from the Faculty of Music at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music with coursework in Japanese Noh theatre (Kanze school).  She obtained a PhD at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies for her thesis "Women and Noh". 

She has played several traditional Noh plays, and has also challenged collaborations with contemporary composers as a Noh singer.  She has worked with Peter Eötvös, Toshio Hosokawa amongst others. She was invited to perform at Münchener Kammerorchester, ZKM, Asia-Pacific Weeks Berlin, Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, Freie University Berlin, the University of Bonn in Germany, Bartok Festival, CAFe BUDAPEST in Hungary, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris in France, Villa Medici, Istituto Giapponese di Cultura in Italy, BBVA Foundation in Spain, Xenakis festival in NYC, California State University in US, Takefu International Music Festival in Japan amongst others. She had a concert with the Münchener Kammerorchester at the Münchener Kammerspiele in 2011.  She also had performances in Radialsystem V in Berlin during Asia-Pacific Weeks and gave Noh workshops for Sasha Waltz and Guests in 2011.  She performed Cage and Hosokawa's pieces with the Arditti String Quartet as part of their Japan tour in 2012. 
She has organised her project Noh×Contemporary Music to commission new pieces from 2010 and released her debut CD "Noh×Contemporary Music" in 2014, which includes Peter Eötvös's "Harakiri".  In 2013, she made her debut at Teatro Real de Madrid as the role of Malinche in Wolfgang Rihm's opera "The Conquest of Mexico", which was directed by Pierre Audi and organised by Gerard Mortier. 
She has been appointed "Japan Cultural Envoy" by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japanese government in 2015. She has been chosen as the artist in Aichi Triennale 2016.


Masako Okamura

edited by Takashi Yokoisi   Hayakawa-shobo 1,500 Yen

magazine / newspaper 
Fashion Snap 2015/5/17Shiseido "Hanatsubaki" Woman 2013/10
The Asahi Newspaper 2010/11/28
The New York Times 2010/2/28
ITOKI Spina Kengo Kuma × Ryoko Aoki 

NHK TV "NHK Haiku"  


performance archive



"How Did the Tokyo Music School Influence the Birth of Female Noh Performers?
―By the Instrumentality of Ikenouchi Nobuyoshi and Kanze Sakon―"
Journal of Atomi University Faculty of Literature No.48 pp.59-74.

"Women Noh Performers"
Journal of the Society for the Study of Musical Drama No.10 pp.1-18.


"Analysis of Noh and composition of Noh-Opera using a sinusoidal model"
by Ken Ito (Keio University)
Ken-Ichi Sakakibara (NTT Communication Science Laboratories)
Ryoko Aoki (Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music)
Naotosi Osaka (NTT Communication Science Laboratories)
published in "Information Processing Society of Japan" journal. 

presentations / demonstrations  

Daniel Recital Hall, California State University, Long Beach, CA, US

"TIME WALKER" Panel discussion:Chihiro Minato × Gozo Yoshimasu × Ryoko Aoki 
Tokyo International Forum 


Hochschule for music and theatre Hannover, Germany

20th Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of Musical Drama 
National Noh Theatre 
Presentation "The Construction of Japanese Noh Theatre as an Abstract Art"

"Women and Japanese Noh Theatre" 
International Research Center
"Interweaving Cultures in Performance" 
Berlin Freie University, Germany

Panel: "Women in Noh"

"The Construction of Japanese Noh Theatre as a Masculine Art : an Analysis of its Traditional and Modern Discourses" 


Presentation at the 13th international conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies in Estonia
"The Construction of Japanese Noh Theatre as an Abstract Art : an Analysis of its Traditional and Modern Discourses" 


Une matinée autour du Nô in Villa Medici, Rome
Presentation : Noh music
Demonstration of Noh "Matsukaze"

Conference guilt Ⅱ at the University of Bonn
Presentation : Guilt in Japanese Noh Theatre
Demonstration of Noh "Yashima"
Toshio Hosokawa "From Japanese Folk Song"

Portrait Concert of Toshio Hosokawa at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 

Demonstration of Noh "Matsukaze"
Toshio Hosokawa "From Japanese Folk Song"

Presentation at Noh Institute regular meeting at the Tokyo University
"Considering Women Noh Performers Now"

Demonstration of Noh play "Makiginu" at the Japan Univeristy Art Faculty
ORCNANA & APPAN International Conference

Presentation at the Society for the Study of Musical Drama
"The Possibility of Women`s Noh Performance from a Historical Perspective"

The British Council Japan Association
Nomura Foundation
Rohm Music Foundation



Takefu International Music Festival
Noh workshop for composers

Intermediate presentations of composers' workshops for "ONGAKU×ONGYOKU"

Since 4.2007, there had been a series of 10 Noh workshops for the composers towards the upcoming performance in September. For this time, presentations of the intermediate process result were supervised by Joji Yuasa.

Noh workshop at the Hull Univeristy, U.K.

Noh workshop at the Inha Univeristy and Kyonhi University, Korea

Noh workshop at the SOAS, University of London, U.K.

Noh workshop at the SOAS, University of London, U.K.