In Memoriam: Atsutada Otaka
Mar. 01, 2021
It is with great sorrow that we report the passing of esteemed Zen-On composer Atsutada Otaka on February 16 at the age of 76, following an illness.
Atsutada Otaka was born into a musical family. His father Hisatada Otaka (1911-1951) was a celebrated composer and conductor. The Otaka Prize, one of Japan’s most prestigious composition awards, was established in 1952 to honor Hisatada Otaka's memory by the Japan Symphony Orchestra, now the NHK Symphony Orchestra. Atsutada’s mother Misaoko (Nagaoka) Otaka (1911-1976) was a pianist, and his younger brother Tadaaki Otaka is a conductor and currently music director of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra.
Otaka graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts in composition. He studied composition under Tomojiro Ikenouchi, Akio Yashiro and Akira Miyoshi, and studied piano under Kazuko Yasukawa. After graduating in 1966, he won a French government scholarship and entered the Conservatoire de Paris where he studied with composers Maurice Duruflé, Marcel Bitsch, Jean-Claude Henry, and Henri Dutilleux. Otaka has won numerous composition awards and was an emeritus professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts.
His notable works include de la Mer musicale - 12 pièces pour piano, Symphonie ~ Au-delà du Temps, and Image pour orchestre, among others.
Additionally, Atsutada Otaka's Concerto pour Violoncelle et Orchestre, composed in 2018, received its world premiere performance with cellist Dai Miyata and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Tadaaki Otaka at their 635th Subscription Concert on March 5-6 at the Sapporo Cultural Arts Theater in Hokkaido, Japan.
Listen to Atsutada Otaka's Fantasy for organ and orchestra:
(Fantasy for organ and orchestra/Atsutada Otaka/Bryan Ashley, organ/Sapporo Symphony Orchestra/Tadaaki Otaka)
To learn more about Atsutada Otaka, visit: zen-on.co.jp.
Concerto pour Violoncelle et Orchestre (2018)
for solo cello and orchestra
solo vc; 126.96.36.199-188.8.131.52-4perc-cel-hp-str
de la Mer musicale - 12 pièces pour piano
Sample pages: http://zen-on.jpn.org/trial/178705/HTML5/pc.html#/page/1
Symphonie ~ Au-delà du Temps ~ (2011)
Commissioned by Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra
Premiere: 2011; Miyagi, Japan; Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra; cond. by Tadaaki Otaka
* Awarded the 60th Otaka Prize in 2012.
** Score for sale, parts on rental.
Image pour orchestre (1981)
Commissioned by Min-On Concert Association
Premiere: 1981; Tokyo, Japan; Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra; cond. by Tadaaki Otaka
* Awarded the 30th Otaka Prize in 1981.
** Score for sale; parts on rental