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Toda, Kunio (actually, Morikuni)

Toda, Kunio (actually, Morikuni)

Toda, Kunio (actually, Morikuni), Japanese composer and teacher; b. Tokyo, Aug. 11, 1915. He studied at the Univ. of Heidelberg (1938-39); following diplomatic service in Moscow (1939-41), he returned to Tokyo to study with Saburo Moroi. He was sent to Indochina in 1944; when World War II ended in 1945, he was detained until 1948. Upon his return to Tokyo, he became active in contemporary-music circles; introduced 12-note serialism to his homeland. He remained active as a diplomat until 1964; taught at the Toho Gakuen School of Music (from 1955), remaining on its faculty as a prof, when it became a college in 1961; also was director and a prof, at the Senzolku Gakuen Academy of Music (from 1975); he retired in 1988 from the latter, but continued as a guest prof, until 1991.

Works

dramatic: Opera: Akemi (Tokyo, 1956); Kyara monogatari (History of the City of Kyara; Tokyo, 1973). Monodrama: Anna la Bonne, after Cocteau (1998). Ballet: Atorie no Salome (Salome in Studio; Tokyo, Nov. 23, 1951); Akai tenmaku or Le Cirque rouge (Tokyo, Nov. 4, 1953); Dokutsu (The Cave; Tokyo, Nov. 7, 1954); Miranda (Tokyo, Oct. 26, 1968). Scenic-Oratorio Mystery: Shito Paolo (St. Paul; 1961-64; concert perf., Tokyo, Feb. 15, 1973). ORCH.: Overture (1943); Densetsu (Legend), symphonic fantasy (1944); 2 piano concertos (1944, 1955); Passacaglia and Fugue (1949); Overtura buffa (1950); Sym. (1956); Concerto grosso for 6 Solo Instruments and Orch. (Tokyo, Jan. 25, 1968). CHAMBER: Piano Trio (1947); Amoroso for Violin and Piano (1951); Violin Sonata (1957; rev. 1959); Music for 2 Koto (1959); Bassoon Sonata (1966); Introduzione-Movimento-Rapido for String Quartet, Quintet, or Ensemble (1994). KEYBOARD: Piano:3 intermezzi (1942); Koto no ne ni yoru gensōkyoku (Fantasy on the Sound of the Koto; 1965); Sonatina (1966); Yottsu no yuganda kyoku or 4 pezzi deformati (1968). Electronic Organ: Passacaglia and Fugue (Tokyo, Aug. 5, 1994). VOCAL: Jochu no Anna (Anna la Bonne), monodrama for Soprano, 2 Violas, and Tape (Tokyo, Nov. 17, 1978); Kesa to Morito (Kesa and Morito), dramatic cantata for Soprano, Baritone, and String Quintet (Tokyo, Nov. 16, 1979); Toraware no O’Shichi (O’Shichi, the Prisoner), mono-cantata for Soprano, Flute, and Marimba (Tokyo, Sept. 16, 1981); ô-kawa no Uta (Song of River) for Mezzo-soprano, Baritone, and Orch. (Tokyo, March 6, 1989); choruses; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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