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World Premiere of Akira Nishimura’s Penta in Tokyo

Sep. 17, 2020

On September 27, members of Siena Wind Orchestra perform the world premiere of Akira Nishimura's Penta for five percussionists at the Bunkyo Civic Hall in Tokyo. The composer notes:

"The tempo of the work is in Allegro vivace throughout.  As the title shows, the number 5 is especially relevant in this work – for example, pieces in 4/5 time or 5 tones dominantly heard on the timpani.  The work comprises 5 sections (A-B-C-D-E) and is approximately 5 minutes long.  It’s a scherzo-like divertimento."

Earlier this year at the Maison du Japon of Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, the Tokyo Sinfonietta hosted an event featuring clarinet works by Japanese composers. A total of six works were performed, all published by Zen-On, including: Perspective en Spirale by Akira Miyoshi, A Clarinet Runs, and He Thinks by Shin-ichiro Ikebe, and other titles by Michio Kitazume, Akira Nishimura, and Hitomi Kaneko. Performance videos are being posted, and the first one -  Akira Nishimura's Jyurei II for five clarinets - is now available. 
Jyurei II (2015) was commissioned by the Bunkyo Academy Foundation. The work was composed as a companion piece to Jyurei I for two clarinets written in the previous year. The title Jyurei signifies spiritual echoes emanating from trees which calmly stand in a sacred place like an historic shrine.

(Jyurei II/Akira Nishimura/Performers: Philippe Berrod, Yasuaki Itakura, Haruyo Nishizawa, Wakako Sato, Asami Kawagoe)

Finally, after being postponed for several months, the Japanese premiere of Akira Nishimura's Kitora for eight marimbas will take place on September 20, performed by Shiniti Uéno and Phonix Réflexion. The title refers to the Kitora Tomb which is an ancient burial mound constructed during the 7th and 8th centuries in Asukamura, Nara Prefecture. Inside the Kitora, walls facing east, west, south and north contain murals of the four sacred creatures which stand as symbols of each direction and season; the Azure Dragon (east, spring), the White Tiger (west, autumn), the Vermilion Bird (south, summer) and the Black Tortoise (north, winter). On the ceiling and its periphery, an astronomical chart is drawn. Thus, the inside of the Kitora is seen as an entrance to a kind of ancient space-time universe. The present and ancient space-time universes resonate with each other in the Kitora, and this work is a prelude for a delightful and mystical ceremony of the resonating two universes.

To learn more about Akira Nishimura, visit:

Akira Nishimura
Penta (2020)
for five percussionists

Jyrei II (2015)
for five clarinets

Kitora (2020)
for eight marimbas