European American Music Distributors Company is a member of the Schott Music Group

World Premiere of Kenji Sakai's Antiphona in Blue

Mar. 01, 2019

World Premiere of Kenji Sakai's <em>Antiphona in Blue</em>

On March 1, the Geigeki Wind Orchestra Academy and Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, led by Tatsuya Shimono, gave the world premiere of Kenji Sakai's Antiphona in Blue, commissioned by The Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. The performance, which took place at the Concert Hall of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, was part of the Geigeki Wind Orchestra Academy's Fifth Subscription Concert. Antiphona in Blue was composed as part of a series of works Sakai has been working on since 2016.  The first work Spiral in Blue (2016) for woodwind quintet, written for Les Vents Francais, depicts fluttering birds in the sky seen from his atelier when he stayed at Villa Medici in Rome. While in Paris and recalling his experience in Rome, Sakai composed Ritornello in Blue (2017) for woodwind trio, and now this new work. The composer notes:

“Antiphona” in the title comes from “antiphon,” a style of chant sung in churches.  In this work, the thirteen instruments are divided into two groups, and the work consists of two parts.  In the first movement “Osmosis,” the two groups eventually come together and become unified as an ensemble.  The second movement “Space” reminds us of European church bells lingering, and the contrabassoon positioned in the center creates a stereo effect."

Listen to Kenji Sakai's D'automne, for six musicians, here:

(Kenji Sakai/D'automne/Hai-Doa Ensemble/Shiuan Chang, conductor)

For more information about Kenji Sakai, visit

Kenji Sakai
Antiphona in Blue
for wind ensemble
2fl, 2ob, 2cl, 4hn, 2bsn, cbsn