- Ryotaro Leo IKENAGA
- Date of Birth:
- Nov. 1, 1990
- Michigan, USA
Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga grew up studying classical music and began playing taiko during his first year at Cornell University in the USA. He entered the Kodo Apprentice Centre in 2013 and became a Kodo member in 2016. On stage, Ikenaga is mainly featured on taiko drums and bamboo flutes. Adept at playing melodic instruments, he has emerged as a composer and director within the Kodo ensemble.
In 2017, Ikenaga made his directorial debut with “Kodo Next Generation.” Following the success of its premiere in Japan, French theatrical troupe Théâtre du Soleil invited Kodo to Paris in 2018 to present the work as a concert series at its home base. In 2021, Ikenaga served as artistic director for Kodo x Tokyo Symphony Orchestra “Inochi.” He composed the eponymous piece for this collaboration—the first composition by a Kodo member ever to be performed by an orchestra. His groundbreaking efforts show his determination to drive Kodo’s next generation forward.
When Kodo was forced to cease touring during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ikenaga got even more creative. In 2020, he launched Kodo Heartbeat Radio, which he continues to host as one of the show’s main MCs. During its touring hiatus, he pushed for Kodo to share new, experimental digital music offerings and to take part in a wide range of remote collaborations. Ikenaga also helped keep Kodo connected to its audience by developing video and social media content until touring resumed. His contributions to the ensemble continue to grow and grow.
Ikenaga is a native English speaker who frequently serves as a spokesperson for Kodo on the global stage.