Ryoko Aoki is the pioneer of and inspiration for a new artistic form combining utai – traditional Noh recitation – with contemporary music. More than 50 works have been written for her by world-renowned composers including Peter Eötvös and Toshio Hosokawa. Singing with orchestras and performing in operas, she has worked to expand the audience for Noh recitation. She has performed in an opera at the Teatro Real de Madrid as well as with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Ensemble InterContemporain and the Munich Chamber Orchestra. She has participated in music festivals including the Bartok Festival, the Festival d’Automne in Paris, and the Tongyeong International Music Festival. She has also performed at major concert halls including the Concertgebouw, the Philharmonie de Paris and the Kölner Philharmonie. Ryoko earned her BA and MA from the Department of Music at Tokyo University of the Arts (majoring in the Kanze School of Noh theatre), before gaining a Ph.D. from SOAS, University of London. She was appointed a “Japan Cultural Envoy” in 2015 by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. She was awarded “The Creative Tradition Prize” (Japan Arts Foundation) in 2019.