Irino, Yoshiro

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Irino, Yoshirō

Irino, Yoshirō, Japanese composer and pedagogue; b. Vladivostok, Nov. 13, 1921; d. Tokyo, June 28, 1980. Although of pure Japanese ancestry, he was baptized in the Greek Orthodox faith, which he retained throughout his life. His family took him to Tokyo when he was 6. He studied economics at the Univ. of Tokyo; at the same time, he took composition lessons with Saburo Moroi. He became a teacher at the Tōhō Gakuen School of Music in 1952, serving as its direction from 1960 to 1970. He then was prof. at the Tokyo Music Coll. (from 1973). A prolific composer, he wrote music of all categories, adopting a style decidedly modern in character, marked by fine instrumental coloration, with a complete mastery of contemporary techniques. Most of his vocal and stage music is imbued with a pronounced Japanese sensibility, with touches that are almost calligraphic in their rhythmic precision.


dramatic:Kamisama ni shikarareta otoko (The Man in Fear of God), radio operetta (NHK, May 25, 1954); Fuefuki to Ryuo no musumetachi (The Piper and the Dragon King’s Daughters), radio opera (1959); Sarudon no mukoiri (The Marriage of Mr. Monkey), radio opera (NHK, Nov. 26, 1961; first stage perf., Tokyo, March 15, 1962; in collaboration with Moroi and Shimizu); Aya no tsuzumi (The Damask Drum), television opera (NHK, Aug. 9, 1962; first stage perf., Tokyo, March 26, 1975); Sonezaki shinju (The Lover’s Suicide at Sonezaki), chamber opera (Osaka, April 10, 1980). ORCH.: Adagietto and Allegro vivace (1949); Sinfonietta for Chamber Orch. (1953); Ricercari for Chamber Orch. (1954); Double Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Orch. (1955); Concerto grosso (1957); Sinfonia (1959); Concerto for Strings (1960); Suite for Jazz Ensemble (1960); Music for Harpsichord, Percussion, and 19 Strings (1963); Sym. No. 2 (1964); 2 Fantasies for 17 and 20 Kotos (1969); Sai-un (Colorful Clouds) for 15 Strings (1972); Wandlungen for 2 Shakuhachi and Orch. (1973). CHAMBER: 2 string quartets (1945, 1957); Piano Trio (1948); String Sextet (1950); Chamber Concerto for 7 Instruments (1951); Quintet for Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Cello, and Piano (1958); Divertimento for 7 Winds (1958); Music for Violin and Cello (1959); Music for Vibraphone and Piano (1961); Partita for Wind Quintet (1962); String Trio (1965); 3 Movements for 2 Kotos and Jushichi-gen (1966); 7 Inventions for Guitar and 6 Players (1967); Violin Sonata (1967); 3 Movements for Cello (1969); Sonata for Piano, Violin, Clarinet, and Percussion (1970); Trio for Flute, Violin, and Piano (1970); Globus I for Horn and Percussion (1970), II for Marimba, Double Bass, and Percussion (1971), and III for Violin, Cello, Piano, Harp, Shō, and 2 Dancers (1975); Suite for Viola (1971); Cloudscape for String Ensemble (1972); 3 Scenes for 3 Kotos (1972); Strömung for Flute, Harp, and Percussion (1973); Shō-yō for Japanese Instruments (1973); Gafu for Flute, Shō, and Double Bass (1976); Movements for Marimba (1977); Cosmos for Shakuhachi, Violin, Piano, 2 Kotos, and Percussion (1978); Shi-dai for Shakuhachi, 20-gen, 17-gen, and Shamisen (1979); Duo Concertante for Alto Saxophone and Koto (1979). VOCAL: Various works, including A Demon’s Bride for Chorus, Oboe, Horn, Piano, and Percussion (1970).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire