Kimiko Wakiyama – Whistler
Born in Fukuoka, Japan.
While in Music College, started the performance activity with original style ”Hikifuki” e.g. whistle while play the piano.
In 2007, Kimiko Wakiyama won the women’s grand championship at International Whistlers Convention (IWC) in North Carolina first among Japanese. In 2009, she won the Entertainer of the year. In 2014, she worked as a judge at Convention in Japan (IWC). She released a CD ”Whistling Paradise” from a major record company. Having whistling classes, releases the whistling tutorial book. Without being bound by the general image of whistling, she is thriving with performance on TV, Radio, Live, Recording and Composing. Considered one of the pioneer of the whistler in Japan. Love birds, and wanted to whistle like a bird.
Geert Chatrou – Whistler
Geert Chatrou has been whistling as long as his memory goes. He plays the recorder and flute, but prefers whistling, using only his lips as an instrument. This he does so well, that he already won the World Championships three times.
It all started as a practical joke: his sister-in-law entered him in the International Whistlers Convention 2004 in Louisburg, NC, which he won. He returned in 2005 and succesfully defended his title. In 2008 the World Championships were held in Japan, and Geert proved to be the world’s best once again.
A prizewinning documentary about the International Whistling Convention in 2004 was made by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, both Emmy-Award winners. This documentary, called Pucker Up, the fine art of whistling, has been screened in over 40 countries.
In 2005 Geert released a well received CD with the band Ocobar, featuring Fay Lovsky.
In April 2008 his second album has been released, bringing mainly classical music and featuring various (inter)national renowned musicians.
A journalist wrote as a headline in the newspaper, reviewing one of Geert’s concerts:
‘Chatrou got a standing ovation, after he blew away the audience…’
Akiko Shibata – Whistler
– IWC2008 in Japan : 2nd Place (Popular 1st Place)
– IWC2009 in U.S. : 3rd Place (Classical 1st Place)
– IWC2010 in China : 1st Place (Popular/Classical 1st Place)
– Puckerama in Japan : Puckerama of The Year (The Most Valuable Player Award)
– IWC2012 in U.S. :1st Place (Popular/Allied Art 1st Place)
Rika Mori – Pianist
She started taking piano lessons at the age of four. She studied at the Toho Gakuen Music School for Children, the Toho Gakuen Music High School, and graduated from the piano department of the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music. Received the Tateshina Kogen Music Festival Award in 1987. Performed in the Yomiuri Concert by Rookie Musicians in 1991. Mori has performed piano concertos with orchestras as a soloist since her college years. She is now active in various fields as soloist and chamber music performer, and also as an official pianist for overseas bassoon players in master classes. Studied piano with Kiyoshi Arai, Yoshiya Iwamoto and Hidemitsu Hayashi.
Her chance of playing as an accompanist in the whistlers’ recital in 2003 led her to further performances with many Japanese whistlers in the series of the “Whistlers Music Festival” since 2005. Mori performed with overseas whistlers such as Geert Chatrou, Mitch Hider and others. in the concert of 35th International Whistlers Convention 2008 in Japan. She has been enjoying extending her activities as an accompanist for many whistlers, such as in the “Whistling Festa Puckarama! 2012”.
She also worked as a judge in 2014 for the Convention in Japan (IWC) .
Ryosuke – Whistler
Born in Tokyo, Japan. He learned the “Warbling” method (whistling with a trill) from the professional whistler Geert Chatrou and also studied under professional whistler Kimiko Wakiyama before starting his own whistling career.
Ryosuke has been featured on radio as well as on TV and he likes to perform many different kinds of music, such as Popular, Jazz, Latin and Classical while always trying to find new possibilities for the art of whistling.
In 2008, Ryosuke was director of events for the 38th International Whistlers Convention (IWC) in Japan.
In 2010 and 2012 he organized the “Puckerama!” Whistling Festival in Japan.
In 2012 he released his CD “Baroque Whistling – Ballet Des Champs-Élysées -”.
In 2013 he won 2nd place in the Allied Arts category at the 40th International Whistlers Convention in the US.
In 2014 he again served as event director for the final the 41st International Whistlers Convention (IWC) in Japan.
In 2015 he received the Special “Allen deHart Award” for Whistling Artist of the Year and for Expanding the Awareness, Enjoyment and Respect of Musical Whistling as a Fine Art. He won 2nd place for “Hikifuki” (self-accompaniment) Division at The Masters of Musical Whistling International Festival in the US.
Since April 2015, he has produced his Whistling Workshop in Tokyo and he invented some iPhone applications for the practice of whistling, called the “WhistleTuner” and “WhistleTutor” – useful for checking the pitch and training for long breathing.
Presently, he has establish a whistling event “The World Whistlers Convention” in Japan in 2016. This event aims to inherit the past tradition and style of the original International Whistlers Convention.