Performer and teacher, Linda Caplan is Canada’s premier koto and shamisen artist. She was given the stage name of Kakō in 1987 by the Chikushikai Koto School in Fukuoka, Japan, of which she is a licensed teaching member. In 2007, in recognition of over two decades of devotion to koto music, the School granted her the rarely-conferred and prestigious rank of Dai Shihan (Grandmaster). Caplan is the first and only koto player of non-Japanese descent to attain this rank to date.
As soloist, ensemble member, and session musician, Caplan has performed for over three decades at many public events in Canada, Japan and the United States. She has also performed at private and diplomatic functions whose hosts or honoured guests have included such personages as Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Takamado of Japan, Yukiko Sugihara (wife of the late Consul Chiune Sugihara), Toronto Consuls-General of Japan Eiji Yamamoto and Koichi Kawakami, Ontario Premier David Peterson, Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton, and Japanese Ambassador to Canada Kiyoaki Kikuchi.
Caplan is the Japanese Music Course Director at York University. She is the founder and artistic director of the
Kiri Koto Ensemble. In addition, she offers private koto and shamisen lessons at her Toronto studio as well as online.