An Education & Community Engagement program

Lecture  |  Before Butterfly: 17th-Century Dutch & Japanese Music

John Burkhalter

Independent Scholar, Musician, Artistic Director of The Practitioners of Musick

Glenn Shōyū Swann

Shakuhachi Player and teacher

Monday June 25 at 7 pm
Mary Jacobs Memorial Library
64 Washington Street, Rocky Hill, NJ


Free and open to the public

Co-sponsored by the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library

Long before the American Commodore Matthew Perry landed in Japan in 1853 and Italian composer Giacomo Puccini set the scene for his 1904 opera Madama Butterfly in the Japanese port city of Nagasaki, the Dutch East India Company or VOC established themselves on an island in Nagasaki harbor as the only official trading channel between Japan and Europe through the 17th to 18th centuries. Along with flourishing trade, this veritable convergence of cultures brought about a fluorescence of mutual interest in the arts and sciences.

Learn how the exchange of ideas encompassed the world of music with lecturer and recorder player John Burkhalter and Shakuhachi player Glenn Shōyū Swann. Burkhalter will play music from the time of the VOC in Japan and Swann will perform 17th-century music from the Tokugawa shogunate court.


» Read more about The Princeton Festival’s production of Madama Butterfly

John BurkhalterJohn Burkhalter III

John Burkhalter studied the performance of early music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston under Daniel Pinkham and the performance of Baroque music at Harvard University under the noted Dutch recorder virtuoso, scholar, and conductor Frans Brüggen. In addition, he received instruction from the distinguished Swiss Baroque oboist and recorder virtuoso Michel Piguet. Mr. Burkhalter is the artistic director of The Practitioners of Musick, specializing in the musical world of Eighteenth-Century Great Britain and Ireland, and the Colonial and early Federal periods in America.


Glenn Shōyū Swann

Glenn Swann began shakuhachi study in 1994, receiving Shihan Certification in 2011 along with the name Shōyū 笙友. He performs and teaches in the Princeton area and in New York City, playing Kinko-ryuu Honkyoku and modern pieces but also has a particular affinity for Jiuta/Sokyoku and pieces from the early 20th century. In addition to shakuhachi, Mr. Swann teaches Taijiquan and Omotesenke School Japanese Tea Ceremony.