Shigemi Matsumoto’s parents, Moriichi and Suki Matsumoto, were Japanese immigrants and entrepreneurs who had to start over after they were interned during World War II. They sacrificed for their daughter’s arts education — her mother sold her kimonos and jewelry to pay for ballet and singing lessons.
Shigemi Matsumoto‘s name now graces the primary recital hall in CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, in Cypress Hall, recognizing the philanthropic and educational contributions of Matsumoto and her husband, business executive Marty Stark. The Shigemi Matsumoto Recital Hall is a celebration of everyone who helped her achieve her dreams, she said at the naming ceremony and unveiling of the new signage May 13.
“This will honor the name of my parents in perpetuity,” said Matsumoto ’68 (Music), a world-renowned soprano. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude and emotions to have this recital hall named after me. It is an incredible honor and one that will be cherished by me for the rest of my life.”
Matsumoto and Stark, who met at CSUN, have a long history of support for the university.
After graduating from CSUN’s music program in 1968, Matsumoto launched an international professional singing career spanning more than two decades, starting with a stint at the highly acclaimed San Francisco Opera. She has performed with over 50 opera companies and symphony orchestras and has given more than 300 recitals worldwide. For more than 35 years, she has trained future generations of classical singers while teaching at several universities, including CSUN.
Several of Matsumoto’s current and former students performed at the ceremony highlighting her impact, which continues to resonate through new generations of blossoming talent.
Stark’s influential career included stints as vice president of Columbia Artists Management, Inc. (CAMI), an international management consultant, and mentor to many startup companies. He regularly contributes his time to CSUN’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics.
Their gift to CSUN ensures the vitality of the recital hall, which is home to about 150 performances each academic year.
“It is my hope that the Shigemi Matsumoto Recital Hall will become a place where young musicians can come to learn, to grow and to be inspired to pursue their own passions,” Matsumoto said.
The impact of the couple’s gift was amplified through the CSUN Foundation’s Matador Match Challenge for 2022, which providing matching funds for eligible portions of the gift.