SVCreates 2019 SVLaureate — On Stage
The SVLaureate program recognizes our region’s finest artists through a competitive process, using independent expert panels, and honor these artists with unrestricted cash prizes, promotion, and recognition with an award at the annual SVArts Awards. Ray Furuta was awarded the 2019 On Stage SVLaureate Award.
A San Jose native, Ray Furuta has devoted his career to the flute. As a prodigious high school student, he was invited to take private lessons with renowned flutist Carol Wincenc and continued to study under her private instruction through college. In 2011, Furuta returned on a break from his studies at Stony Brook University in New York and had a revelation that there simply wasn’t enough opportunity available in his own home town for classical musicians to thrive. So, he founded Chamber Music Silicon Valley (CMSV) to fill the void, an organization for which he still serves as Artistic Director. Initially conceived as an outlet for traditional classical performances, today CMSV attempts to push the boundaries of what chamber music can be in the hopes of making it more relevant to the diverse Silicon Valley community. Furuta, meanwhile, continues to tour worldwide as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher, and cultural ambassador.
“Being able to give musicians the tools they need to go out and be successful is a very important mission for me. I also have a passion for using my talents to ignite social change — to enable my students to go out and be advocates for music and social justice. Working hard to better the lives of my family and make them proud of me is a constant inspiration (not pressure, at all). They sacrificed so much for me to achieve the career that I currently have — so giving back to them is an important inspiration for me. Otherwise, breaking social and cultural barriers and creating a better world through music is overall what I strive to accomplish; even if the impact is only a little, that little matters very much to me and keeps me working hard.”