Token Creek Chamber Music

Pleiades Dances

Pleiades Dances
by Takashi Yoshimatsu

A rare chance to hear the complete cycle in live performance

Friday, March 1, 7:00 P.M.

Tickets (General Admission): $20 In Advance ($10 Student) · $25 At the Door

Buy Tickets

Pleiades Dances (1986-2001) is a series of nine suites of piano pieces by Japanese composer Takashi Yoshimatsu, “written on the subject of the seven stars of the Pleiades, the seven colors of the rainbow, the seven tones of various modes, the seven rhythms from triple time to nonuple time and so forth….” In the northern hemisphere, the Pleiades star cluster is visible in the winter, as part of the constellation Taurus.

We’re grateful to John Edwards for the use of his evocative image: Star Clusters of Fall (2018) | Soft pastel on pastel paper | Etsy

“These are etudes in which J.S. Bach’s Inventions are projected on the present age through a polarized prism, the transcriptions of imaginary dance music played in fantastical four-dimensional space spreading from ancient times to future and the tiniest dance suites composed only of dots and lines,” writes Yoshimatsu.

This rare live performance of the complete Pleiades Dances offers listeners an opportunity to become fully enveloped in Yoshimatsu’s colorful soundworld, taking in the entirety of its extraordinary spaciousness and variety. At once dreamy and intricately fascinating, this is music of constantly shifting meters, metamorphosing patterns, poignant melodies, hypnotic polyrhythms, resonant modal washes, fleet counterpoint, and more.


Takashi Yoshimatsu was born in Tokyo in 1953, and studied at Keio University (Department of Technology). He taught himself composition, joined jazz and rock groups, and studied under Teizo Matsumura for a short while. An ardent traditionalist, he advocates for “new lyricism”. Threnody to Toki (1981) was his compositional debut. Since then, he has written six symphonies, ten concertos, and many other orchestra pieces. His oeuvre also includes many stage works, series of chamber music works elated with birds, piano and guitar works, and other works for Japanese traditional instruments.


Jeff Stanek plays and teaches music in Madison, Wisconsin. He has appeared as pianist, composer, or both, on renowned series including Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, Present Music, and Tanglewood Music Festival. Equally at home playing repertoire and improvising, Jeff is a favorite and longtime collaborator in dance studios as well as musical ensembles, and has been called on to perform in dozens of premieres of new works. He has degrees in piano performance and pedagogy from UW-Madison and in composition and piano from Indiana University; fellowships from MacDowell, Tanglewood, and Virginia Center for Creative Arts; and awards from ASCAP, BMI, National Federation of Music Clubs, and others. At Token Creek, Jeff has played many roles, including pianist, composer, board member, web designer, and volunteer. He gratefully acknowledges his many musical mentors including Token Creek Chamber Music Artistic Director John Harbison and his piano teachers Teresa Dybvig, Jess Johnson, Christopher Taylor, Jean-Louis Haguenauer, Renato Premezzi, Larry Elliott, and Diana Berryman. For information about his piano studio, please visit:

Pleiades Dances ITakashi Yoshimatsu
Pleiades Dances II
Pleiades Dances III

Brief Interval

Pleiades Dances IV
Pleiades Dances V
Pleiades Dances VI

Brief Interval

Pleiades Dances VII
Pleiades Dances VIII
Pleiades Dances IX

Jeff Stanek, piano