Ishii, Kan, Japanese composer, brother of Maki Ishii; b. Tokyo, March 30, 1921. He is one of two sons of Baku Ishii, a renowned scholar of modern dance. He studied in Tokyo at the Musashino Music School with Goh, Ikenouchi, and Odaka (1939–43), and in 1952 he took lessons with Orff at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich. Returning to Japan, he taught at the Tōhō Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo (1954–66), the Aichi-Prefectural Arts Univ. in Nagoya (1966–86), and the Showa Music Coll. (from 1986).
dramatic: Opera: Mermaid and Red Candle (1961); Kaguyahime (Prince Kaguya; 1963); En-no-Gyojia (Tokyo, 1964); Lady Kesa and Monto (Tokyo, Nov. 24, 1968); Women are Wonderful (1978); Kantomi (1981). Operetta: Blue Lion (1989). Ballet: God and the Bayadere (Tokyo, Nov. 6, 1950); Birth of a Human (Tokyo, Nov. 27, 1954); Frökln Julie (1955); Shakuntara (1961); Marimo (Tokyo, 1963); Biruma no tategoto (Harp of Burma; 1963); Haniwa (1963); Hakai (1965); Ichiyo Higuchi (1966). ORCH.: Yama (Mountain), symphonic poem (Tokyo, Oct. 7, 1954); Kappa’s Penny for Youth Orch. (1956). CHAMBER: Music for 8 Percussionists (1970); Viola Sonata (1960); Music for Flute (1972). VOCAL: Sinfonia Ainu for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1958–59); The Reef cantata for Baritone, Chorus, 4 Pianos, and Percussion (1967); Akita the Great for Chorus and Brass (1968); Foot steps to Tomorrow, cantata for Solo Soprano (1972); folk songs; choruses.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire