Female composers focus of concert, debut CD

Cal Lutheran faculty recital will feature cellist and pianist

The highlight of the recital will be the premiere of a piece commissioned by cellist Yoshika Masuda and written especially for him and pianist HyeJin Kim by Indian American composer Reena Esmail.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — March 18, 2022) A recital of cello and piano music at California Lutheran University will consist entirely of works written by female composers.

Cellist Yoshika Masuda, director of string studies at Cal Lutheran, and guest pianist HyeJin Kim will present the faculty recital at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3, in Samuelson Chapel.

They will perform works for cello and piano written by female composers over a 250-year span. The concert will help Masuda prepare to record his first CD, which is being funded in part by a Cal Lutheran Faculty Research and Creative Work Award.

“My goal with this recital and CD is not just to highlight these underappreciated female composers, but to bring to light their talent and skill as simply great composers,” Masuda said.

The concert will feature hidden gems and well-known works. The highlight will be the premiere of a piece commissioned by Masuda and written especially for the duo by Indian American composer Reena Esmail. The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s 2020-2023 Swan Family Artist-in-Residence was the Seattle Symphony’s 2020-21 Composer-in-Residence, a 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Music, and a 2017-18 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow.

“I love the language of her music,” Masuda said. “Reena’s music incorporates Western harmony with the harmonies found in traditional Indian music. She does a beautiful job marrying the East and West through fusing the two very different sound worlds.”

The concert also will feature pieces by Amy Beach, the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music; Nadia Boulanger; Clara Schumann; and Rita Strohl.

Masuda, who was born in Japan, is an assistant professor of music at Cal Lutheran. He began playing the cello at age 5 and studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music in the United Kingdom, where he graduated with distinction. A recipient of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe String Scholarship Award, he has won national competitions in Australia, Japan and the United States and performed across the United States, Europe and Asia. He has a doctorate in musical arts from USC.

Born in South Korea, Kim attracted international attention at 17 when she placed third in Italy’s prestigious Busoni Piano Competition as its youngest participant. Since then, she has received many awards including prizes at the Hong Kong and Toronto international piano competitions. She has performed with numerous orchestras including the Russian State Philharmonic, Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and made her Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2016. She teaches at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.

Donations will be accepted. Audience members must wear masks. For information, contact the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or music@CalLutheran.edu, or visit CalLutheran.edu.


  • Cal Lutheran Upward Bound gets $3.6M
    Fri June 17, 2022

    The U.S. Department of Education awarded California Lutheran University more than $3.6 million to continue and expand its TRIO Traditional Upward Bound services for high school students in Oxnard, Hawthorne and Lawndale.

  • Graduate, Professionals ceremony slated
    Thu April 28, 2022

    California Lutheran University will hold its 2022 Graduate and Professionals Commencement at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14. 

  • Cal Lutheran gets its largest NSF grant
    Thu March 24, 2022

    California Lutheran University received its largest National Science Foundation grant to date — $307,486 for a biologist and her students to study sexual selection in tiny Brazilian squirrel monkeys.

  • Cal Lutheran receives $1.4M federal grant
    Wed August 18, 2021

    The U.S. Department of Education has awarded California Lutheran University a five-year $1.39 million grant to help lower the high school dropout rate in South Oxnard and increase the number of students who enter and graduate from college.

  • Cal Lutheran starts Spanish media minor
    Wed July 28, 2021

    During the fall semester, California Lutheran University will launch a Spanish media minor — the only one at a private college in Southern California — to help fill the need for bilingual journalists who understand Latino culture.

  • Cal Lutheran selects chief diversity officer
    Fri July 9, 2021

    Cristallea K. Buchanan, the head of inclusion and diversity for American Honda Motor Co., will be the inaugural vice president for talent, culture and diversity for California Lutheran University.

  • State approves bilingual teaching program
    Wed May 5, 2021

    As the result of a rare interdisciplinary collaboration between undergraduate and graduate programs, California Lutheran University has become one of the first institutions in California where undergraduate students can begin earning their bilingual teaching authorization through coursework.

  • Top Cal Lutheran teaching honor awarded
    Wed April 28, 2021

    A faculty member who has prompted many students to engage in advanced studies of Spanish and Latin American culture has received California Lutheran University’s highest teaching honor.

  • Cal Lutheran presents poet laureate series
    Mon February 1, 2021

    California Lutheran University is presenting a free three-part webinar series on U.S. poets laureate that will include a reading by one of the writers.

  • AmeriCorps Fellows begin county service
    Thu January 28, 2021

    California Lutheran University’s first AmeriCorps Civic Action Fellows have begun serving low-income and immigrant populations throughout Ventura County as part of a first-in-the-nation program.