Matsumura, Teizo

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Matsumura, Teizo

Matsumura, Teizo, Japanese composer and pedagogue; b. Kyoto, Jan. 15, 1929. He was orphaned at an early age. After lessons from Tsuneharu Takahashi (piano) and Toshio Nagahiro (harmony), he settled in Tokyo in 1949 to pursue his training with Ikenouchi (harmony, counterpoint, and composition) and Ifukube (composition). Between 1950 and 1955 his life was seriously threatened by tuberculosis. During his convalescence, he began to compose and in 1955 won 1st prize in the NHK-Mainichi Music Competition with his Introduction and Allegro Concertante for Orch. From 1970 to 1987 he was prof, of composition at the National Univ. of Fine Arts and Music. In 1994 he won the Mainichi Art Prize and the Grand Prize of the Kyoto Music Awards. Matsumura rebelled early on against dodecaphonism, the then- prevailing musical ideology in Japan. Instead, he pursued an independent course in which he combined the use of Western instruments and forms with the rich inheritance of Asian culture. Among his notable works were his Sym. (1965) and his Prélude pour orchestre (1968), the latter winning the Otaka Prize.


dramatic:Flute of Devil’s Passion, mono-opera (1965); Silence, opera (1980–93; Tokyo, Nov. 3, 1993); incidental music; film scores. orch.: Introduction and Allegro Concertante (Tokyo, Oct. 22, 1955); Cryptogame for Chamber Orch. (1958); 2 syms.: No. 1 (Tokyo, June 15, 1965) and No. 2 for Piano and Orch. (1998); Prélude pour Orchestre (NHK Radio, Nov. 7, 1968); 2 piano concertos: No. 1 (NHK Radio, Nov. 4, 1973) and No. 2 (Tokyo, May 13, 1978); Cello Concerto (Tokyo, Feb. 27, 1984); Pneuma for Strings (Tokyo, Sept. 19, 1987); Hommage à Akira Ifukube (1988); Offrande Orchesrale (Tokyo, Sept. 21, 1989). chamber: Music for String Quartet and Piano (1962); Poem I for Shakuhachi and 13-String Koto (1969) and II for Shakuhachi (1972); Courtyard of Apsaras, trio for Flute, Violin, and Piano (1971); Poem for Shinobue and Biwa (NHK Radio, Nov. 1979); Fantasy for 13-String Koto (1980); Poem for Alto Saxophone and Biwa (1980); Air of Prayer for 17-String Koto (1984; also for Cello, 1985); Spelmatica for Cello (1985); Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1987; NHK Radio, April 1, 1988); Nocturne for Harp (1994); String Quartet (1996). piano:Deux Berceuses à la Grèce (1969). vocal:Achime for Piano and Chamber Ensemble (1957); Totem Ritual for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1969); Apsaras for Women’s Voices and Small Orch. (1969); 2 Poems by the Prince of Karu for Soprano and Piano (1973; NHK Radio, March 12, 1974); Hymn to Aurora for Chorus and Chamber Ensemble (Tokyo, Nov. 15, 1978); The Drifting Reed for Voice and Orch. (NHK-TV, July 1979); The Patient Waters for Chorus and Orch. (1985).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire