A concerto for ukulele and orchestra by Byron Yasui will be premiered by the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra with soloist Jake Shimabukuro this weekend. The conductor will be JoAnn Folletta.
Byron K. Yasui has been on the music theory/composition faculty at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa since 1972, where he presently chairs the graduate studies in music. Jake Shimabukuro became well-known after his ukulele version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on Youtube. Shimabukuro has appeared in the Kentuckiana area several times in the past decade. This is the first concerto to be written for ukulele and traditional orchestra. It is also very virtuosic. Yasui’s composition was created specifically with Shimabukuro in mind, giving it the nickname “Concerto for Jake.”
Classical 90.5 will post a recording of the concerto when it becomes available. In the meantime, learn more about the production of this work’s premiere.