Toshio Hosokawa

Toshio Hosokawa

Composer

• Born 1955

Biography

Japanese pianist and composer Toshio Hosokawa combines the Western classical tradition with Japanese aesthetic sensibilities and a highly innovative imagination. Hosokawa studied piano and music theory in Tokyo; composition with Isang Yun, Klaus Huber, Brian Ferneyhough; and theory with Witold Szaloneck at Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. In 1980, Hosokawa won first prize in the Valentino Bucchi competition in Rome, the Irino prize in 1982 in Japan, and first prize at the 100th anniversary competition of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Hosokawa served as guest composer at the 1988 International Davos Music Festival. Hosokawa has continued to pave his own path. In an early '90s interview, he explained that his music is "calligraphy with notes in space and time, notes that come from the world of silence and also return to it."

A native of Hiroshima, Hosokawa studied piano and composition in Tokyo as a teenager. He continued to study while living in West Berlin between 1976 and 1986. The artistic director and founder of the Akiyoshidai International Contemporary Music Seminar and Festival since 1989, Hosokawa returned to live in his birthplace in 1994 and later moved to Nagano. He has been director of the Japanese Takefu International Music Festival in Fukuj. He began teaching at Tokyo College of Music in 2004.

One of Hosokawa's most important works is In die Tiefe der Zeit (Into the Depths of Time) for cello and accordion. Initially featured on an album with avant-garde composer John Cage, the piece was later included on an album recorded by viola player Nobuko Imai and accordionist Mie Miki. According to Hosokawa, the viola "symbolizes the male principal, the accordion a sympathetic response to that voice, a fertile womb embracing it."

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