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MI 208 Phone: 765-285-5412
School of Music
Hargreaves Music Building (MU) 203
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
Flutist Mihoko Watanabe, a native of Japan, is Associate Professor of Flute at the Ball State University School of Music. Prior to joining the School of Music, Dr. Watanabe taught at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Windsor, Canada.
A celebrated and versatile international performer, Dr. Watanabe has won competitions sponsored by both the Japan Flute Association and the National Flute Association (NFA), and has appeared in Japan, Israel, Canada, England, and the United States as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. She is a member of the Ball State faculty woodwind quintet, the Musical Arts Quintet (MAQ). MAQ was awarded the prestigious 2010 American Masterpieces grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a performance tour and CD, entitled American Breeze, which was released in 2012 from Albany Records. She is also a member of Trio Flurineto (flute, clarinet, and piano) at Ball State. The Trio has performed nationally at various universities, as well as at the 2010 NFA Convention and the 2011 International Clarinet Association Convention. In addition, Dr. Watanabe is a founding member of the newly formed Hibiki Trio, comprised of Ball State faculty members Katrin Meidell (viola) and Elizabeth Richter (harp). Outside of the university, she is a founding member of Trio Piacere (flute, cello, piano), which has performed internationally. She is also a member of Duo Viva (two flutes) which in 2006 recorded Doppler Effect, a CD released by and available from Little Piper.
Dr. Watanabe has held several principal flute positions and has performed with American and Canadian orchestras. She is currently the principal flutist of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, she premiered From Days of Yore, a flute concerto written by Jody Nagle, with the MSO.
She has performed for the annual conferences of the NFA, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Flöte e.V. (DGfF e.V.), British Flute Society, International Double Reed Society, International Clarinet Association, and College Music Society.
Dr. Watanabe is an enthusiastic teacher and travels widely as a clinician, presenting master classes throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan. She has adjudicated at international music festivals and competitions. In the summer of 2005, she was on the faculty of the Brevard Music Center summer festival. In 2009 she was featured in the December issue of Flute Talk magazine.
In addition to being a gifted flutist, Dr. Watanabe is also devoted to the field of ethnomusicology, which she studied extensively at the University of Michigan. Her interest in Japanese traditional music led to a faculty development grant from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh in order to research Kazuo Fukushima’s Mei for solo flute in Japan. Her research resulted in a feature article in the Spring 2008 issue of the Flutist Quarterly, and led to lecture recitals at the 2007 NFA Convention, the 2010 British Flute Association Convention in England, and the 2013 International Flute Festival at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg in Germany. In 2011, her article was translated into Dutch and published in the Nederlands Fluit Genootschap’s Fluit, the official journal of the Dutch Flute Association. In 2013, the article was translated into German for the DGfG e.V.’s Flöte aktuell, official journal.
Dr. Watanabe served as president of the Greater Indianapolis Flute Club from 2010-2013 and is a member of the following NFA committees: cultural outreach, oral history and archive, and research.
Dr. Watanabe received her doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, her master’s degree and performer's certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and her bachelor’s degree from the Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo. Her teachers have included Bonita Boyd, Leone Buyse, Fenwick Smith, Takao Saeki, and Ervin Monroe.
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