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

World Premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's Deine Freunde aus der Ferne

Dec. 17, 2021

Toshio Hosokawa’s Deine Freunde aus der Ferne was given its world premiere performances by Salome Kammer (narrator) and the United Instruments of Lucilin, directed by Nelly Danker, at the Philharmonie Luxembourg on December 4 and 5.

Deine Freunde aus der Ferne, for narrator and ensemble, is the first work that Toshio Hosokawa has written for children. The text was written by Yoko Tawada and is based on the famous Japanese fairy tale, “Urashima-Taro”.

The story begins at a hotel by the sea, where the protagonist is on vacation. She is invited by a talking cat to leave the room and go to the beach. There, she finds a toy robot and a stuffed teddy bear being bullied by some boys. She helps the robot and the teddy bear escape from the boys. In return, the robot and the teddy bear begin speaking and they invite her to the magical world from which they came. Riding on the back of a flying fish, the girl flies to the land of robots and the forest land of teddy bears. What adventures await? 

Hosokawa composed The Raven, a monodrama for mezzo-soprano and 12 players with a text by Edgar Allan Poe, for the United Instruments of Lucilin in 2011-12. It was the first piece that the ensemble commissioned. Deine Freunde aus der Ferne is the second piece that Hosokawa has written for the ensemble. The piece is intended for children ages 6 to 15 years, and Lucilin had requested for him to compose the piece making full use of his usual compositional techniques, not adjusting to suit the supposed needs of younger listeners. Hosokawa accepted the challenge happily and has composed a work that is at once musically sophisticated and clear and apprehendable for young audiences.

Yoko Tawada has written the text. Tawada is a renowned Japanese author of novels and poems living in Berlin. She has been awarded the Kleist Prize, one of the most important literary awards in Germany, and her works have received the highest acclaim internationally. Yoko Tawada has been a longtime friend and collegue of Toshio Hosokawa. Both were rencently awarded Japan Foundation Awards in 2018.

The world premiere of Deine Freunde aus der Ferne was directed by Nelly Danker, who is also active as an actress, singer, and cellist. In Deine Freunde aus der Ferne, Yoko Tawada’s words and Toshio Hosokawa’s music open a new world for children.

To learn more about Toshio Hosokawa, visit:

Toshio Hosokawa
Deine Freunde aus der Ferne
text (Ger) by Yoko Tawada
for narrator and ensemble