Nishimura, Akira

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Nishimura, Akira

Nishimura, Akira, Japanese composer; b. Osaka, Sept. 8, 1953. He studied with Ikenouchi, Yashiro, and Mamiya at the Tokyo National Univ. of Fine Arts and Music (1973–80). He taught at the Tokyo Coll. of Music and served on the board of the Japanese Composers Soc. In 1993–94 he was composer-in-residence of the Kanazawa Orch. Ensemble. He won the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Music Competition (1977), the Dallapiccola Composition Award (1977), and the Otaka Prize (1988, 1992, 1993). His energetic and colorfully chromatic music explores the universe of sound and its transfigurations, with a special affinity for percussion.


dramatic:Hot Rain in August, television opera (1986). orch.:Prelude (1974); 2 syms. (1976, 1979); Mutazioni (1977); 2 piano concertos {Guren, 1979; 1982); Nostalgia (1983); Heterophony for 2 Pianos and Orch. (1987); Navel of the Sun for Hichiriki and Orch. (1989); Cello Concerto (1990); Into the Light of the Eternal Chaos (1990); Tapas, concerto for Bassoon, Percussion, and Strings (1990); A Ring of Lights, double concerto for Violin, Piano, and Orch. (1991); Music of Dawn for Japanese Instruments and Orch. (1991); Hoshi-Mandala (1992); Astral Concerto: A Mirror of Lights for Ondes Martenot and Orch. (1992); Birds Heterophony (1993); Birds in Light (1993–94); Fugaku (1994); A Mirror of Mist for Violin and String Ensemble (1995); Melos Aura (1995); Vision in Twilight (1995); Canticle of Light (1996); Flame and Shadow, viola concerto (1996); Monody (1996); Padma Incarnation (1997); A StreamAfter Dark for Piano and Chamber Orch. (1997); River of Karuna I for Violin and Strings (1997) and II for Clarinet and Chamber Orch. (1997); After Glow, violin concerto (1998). chamber: 3 string quartets (Heterophony, 1975, rev. 1987; Pulse of the Lights, 1992; Avian, 1997); Kecak for 6 Percussionists (1979); Tāla for 6 Percussionists (1982); Khyal for Flute and Piano (1985); Mãtra for Marimba, Timpani, and 5 Percussionists (1985); Gaka I: Concrete of Heterophony for Shakuhachi, Flute, Koto, and Cello (1987), III: Generalize of Heterophony for Violin and 2 Pianos (1987), and IV: Heterophonyon Drone for Violin and Cello (1988); Padma in Meditation for 6 Percussionists (1988); Timpani Concerto for Timpani and 5 Percussionists (1988); Kāla for Marimba and 6 Percussionists (1989); Organums for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Piano, and Vibraphone (1989); Pipa for 3 Guitars (1989); Honey of Lights for Nonet (1990); Voice of the Sun for Marimba, Oboe, Soprano Saxophone, and 2 Percussionists (1991); Ektāl for 3 Marimba Players and 2 Percussionists (1992); Silver Cord for Ondes Martenot and Cello (1993); Mirror of the Moon for Yokobue and 6 Percussionists (1995); Fragment and Echo for Piano Trio (1996); Acquatic Aura for Clarinet and Piano (1996); Light of Padma for Violin and Organ (1996); Duologue for Timpani and Piano (1996); Concerto for Flute, Winds, and Percussion (1997); Lamento for Saxophone and Piano (1997); Halos for Trumpet and Piano (1998). piano: Sonata (1972); Tritrope (1978); Penguin Suite (1983; rev. 1989); Vibrancy Mirrors for 2 Pianos (1985); Because (1991); Mirror of the Stars (1992). vocal:Ceremony for 2 Sopranos and Orch. (1973); Gaka II: Abstraction of Heterophony for Soprano, Clarinet, Violin, and 2 Pianos (1987); Mana II for Mezzo-soprano and 5 Percussionists (1989); Mantra of the Light for Women’s Chorus and Orch. (1993); 5 Lyrics from “The Blue Cat” for Women’s Chorus, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1996).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire