Joji Yuasa’s 90th Birthday Celebrated With Honorary Concerts in Tokyo
Jul. 15, 2019
On July 13 and 27, the Tokyo Concerts Lab presents concerts in celebration of Joji Yuasa who will turn 90 on August 12. In honor of his 88th birthday in 2017, the composer’s works were featured alongside those of Toshi Ichiyanagi at “Composers’ Profile II” hosted by the Suntory Foundation for the Arts. This included the premiere of A Locus of the Orchestra, written in part after recovering from serious illness. Since then, Yuasa has not only continued to compose but has been actively engaged in music, most notably at the Akiyoshidai's Summer Contemporary Music Festival where he lectured about his own creative process. These honorary concerts are an opportunity to peer inside Yuasa’s continuous and inexhaustible exploration since the beginning of his creative period.
On July 13, in a concert entitled “Vol.1 Electronic Music”, acclaimed musicians Sumihisa Arima (electronics), Ayako Shinozaki (harp) and Masanori Oishi (saxophone) presented a program of Yuasa’s music that included Voices Coming (1969), Nine Levels by Ze-Ami No.7 (1987-88), Scenes with a Harp (1999), Icon on the Source of White Noise (1967), and Not I, but the Wind…(1976). It was a rare opportunity to hear a range of Yuasa’s works featuring electronics.
At “Vol. 2 Chamber Music” on July 27, eight pieces ranging from Viola Locus (1995), Cosmos Haptic Series (I:1957, II:1986, IV:1997), to the recent Good Night, Sleep Well (2013) will be performed by numerous esteemed artists including Kaori Kimura (piano), Aki Takahashi (piano), Kuni Seo & Shinichiro Kato Piano Duo, Yoshiko Hannya (viola), Kei Yamazawa (cello), Midori Shimura (mezzo-soprano) and the Amity Quartet (Ami Ito, Mari Adachi, Nobuhiro Suyama and Kei Yamazawa). Yuasa’s chamber music works will be given in a new light at this concert, performed by artists of all ages with whom Yuasa has worked throughout his career.
(Cosmos Haptic/Joji Yuasa/Ron Squibbs, piano)
Additionally, on July 12, the highly anticipated event, “Imprints of Japanese Contemporary Music Vol.1, 5 Composers Born in 1929”, produced by Shinichiro Ikebe, was presented in Tokyo Opera City and included a performance of Yuasa’s Projections for Seven Players.
To learn more about Joji Yuasa, visit schott-music.com.
Nine Levels by Ze-Ami (1987-1988)
for quadraphonic computer-generated tape and chamber ensemble
2(1.pic, afl 2.pic, bfl).1(ca).2(1.ebcl 2.bcl).0-188.8.131.52-timp.2perc-pno.cel.elec pno(Fender Rhodes or DX-7)-str(184.108.40.206.1)
Viola Locus (1995)
Cosmos Haptic I (1957)
Cosmos Haptic II: Transfiguration (1986)
Cosmos Haptic IV (1997)
for cello and piano