About the Sylvia Smith Percussion Duo

The Sylvia Smith Percussion Duo, founded in 1998, is a women's percussion duo centered around music that integrates percussion, spoken language and theater. Percussionist Sylvia Smith has performed at Merkin Hall in New York, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Her performances are recorded on oodiscs and Eleven West Records. The recipient of numerous honors, Dr. Smith was awarded the American Music Center Letter of Distinction in 1988. She is also the founder, owner and editor of Smith Publications/Sonic Art Editions, publishers of serious American art music. Her scholarship includes publishing several articles on music notation, and curating many concerts of John Cage's music.

Ayano Kataoka recently became the first percussionist to be accepted into the Chamber Music Society Two residency program in New York. She has appeared with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, given a debut recital at Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall in Japan, and performed with Emanuel Ax at Lincoln Center. More recently, she gave the US premiere performance of "...As If time Would Heal By Its Passing" by Stuart Saunders Smith at the 2005 Percussive Arts Society International Convention. A leading marimba specialist, Ayano Kataoka is a graduate of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, the Peabody Conservatory, and earned an Artist Diploma degree from Yale University. She is recorded on Respect Records. She describes her approach to percussion performance, "I think of percussion performance as essentially theatrical. I am particularly drawn to compositions that involve the whole person, using standard percussion instruments along with spoken voice, singing and acting, and elegant props."