In 1972, classically trained pianist Masanobu Ikemiya came to Maine to join the Zen Buddhist Monastery in Surry, where he was a practicing monk for 10 years. Mas developed an interest in American ragtime music while volunteering at a homeless shelter started by Mother Teresa in Harlem. He is founder and leader of the New York Ragtime Orchestra with which he toured frequently in the U.S. and Japan. He has appeared in solo recitals at New York's Lincoln Center and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Since 1995 he has toured yearly as guest artist with members of the New York Philharmonic in Japan and appeared with them at the 50th Anniversary Gala celebration at the United Nations. He received an award from the UN for promoting world peace through music. Also founder of Maine's Arcadia Music Festival (1980), he was its artistic director for twenty-four years.
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