Cynthia Nyoen Chaffee earned a masters degree in ethnomusicology and composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, City University of New York, where she began her studies of shakuhachi and Japanese culture in 1983. She received her Jun Shi-han teaching license from Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin in 1996 and has studied in Kyoto with Kurahashi Yoshio of the Kinko shakuhachi lineage of Kurahashi Yodo and Jin Nyodo. |
She is among the few female shakuhachi players in the world to receive the level of Shi-han (February 2003).
Cynthia performs with the Japanese chamber group Nihon no Shirabe and the Long Island taiko group Rhu Shu Taiko, both of which perform in Japan and in the U.S. Cynthia leads meditation sessions and performs at the Humes Japanese Stroll Garden in Mill Neck, Long Island. She has co-directed and produced Haru Matsuri (Spring Festival) for several years in her hometown, Huntington, where she teaches piano and shakuhachi in her studio (recently renamed Chiku-en-an; bamboo garden hut).
Her recordings are: A Woman Sounds Ancient Wisdom (shakuhachi) and Chopin Sampler (piano).