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In Memoriam: Toshi Ichiyanagi

Oct. 11, 2022

Esteemed Japanese composer, Toshi Ichiyanagi, has passed away on October 7 at the age of 89. Ichiyanagi was one of the most renowned musical figures in Japan. Born in Kobe, Japan, on February 4, 1933, Ichiyanagi studied composition under Kishio Hirao, Tomojiro Ikenouchi, and John Cage, and piano under Chieko Hara and Beveridge Webster. Following his studies at The Juillard School and his encounters with John Cage, he brought strong influences of the US avant-garde to the culture of his homeland and created an entirely new style. A series of ten symphonies and six piano concertos form the center of his musical output after 1980; they are the manifestation of his middle and late styles. Toshi Ichiyanagi was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the 30th Otaka Prize (1981), the Grand Prix of the Nakajima Prize (1984), the 33rd Suntory Music Prize (2002), the Medal with Purple Ribbon (1999) and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette (2005) from the Japanese Government. 

Ichiyanagi's passing briefly preceeds the world premiere of his Double Concerto for violin and shamisen which will be performed on October 25 at Suntory Hall in Tokyo by the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sylvain Cambrelin, with soloists Tatsuki Narita (violin), and Hidejiro Honjo (shamisen).

Schott Music is thankful for many decades of friendship and collaboration with Toshi Ichiyanagi. 

Listen to Toshi Ichiyanagi's Violin Concerto "Circulating Scenery": I. — · (1983):

(Violin Concerto "Circulating Scenery": I. — ·/
Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra/Tadaaki Otaka, conductor/Paul Zukofsky, violin)

To learn more about Toshi Ichiyanagi, visit:

Toshi Ichiyanagi
Double Concerto (2021)
for violin and shamisen with strings and percussion
4perc(xyl, vib, mar, cym, tam-t, s.d, b.d)-str