Shunske is a versatile musician. He is a violinist, equally at home as a soloist or an ensemble leader, whether on the baroque or modern violin. As a conductor, he works with both instrumental and vocal ensembles.
Historically informed practice of all eras inspires Shunske; the parameters of the past are essential for him in bringing the music into the present. He is particularly involved in cutting-edge research of 19th century performance practices, and gives lectures and workshops on the topic.
For Shunske, music is communication, and that requires empathy, context, nuance and good presentation. Music must move both the performer and the listener: “A musician cannot move others unless he too is moved,” wrote Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in 1753. It’s still true today.
“Beauty lies at the edge of disaster” was Nicholas Harnoncourt’s motto. Taking risks in concert is necessary: the beauty that might result will always outshine any “disasters” that could happen in trying.
Raised with Japanese and English at home, and having lived and studied in France, Germany and the Netherlands, Shunske speaks 5 languages. He loves language and linguistics, and is passionate about working with text and singers. Shunske’s preoccupation with the spoken word has also taken him down the (long) path of historical pronunciation and dramatic oratory.
Shunske enjoys combining music with other performing arts, as it allows him to expand and explore the music’s innate possibilities and share it with his audiences. He has collaborated in creating an opera based on J.S. Bach’s music, and has worked with children’s theaters, stage directors and dancers. Making arrangements or re-instrumenting existing works is something that Shunske excels in and does with great joy.
Shunske is an inspiring leader and teacher, and sees that both duties have very similar responsibilities: to show what beauty music can bring; to be generous, genuine, encouraging and patient; to open doors for others and allow them, by their own will, to walk through.