Yamada, Kösaku (Köscak)

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Yamada, Kösaku (Köscak)

Yamada, Kösaku (Köscak), eminent Japanese conductor and composer; b. Tokyo, June 9, 1886; d. there, Dec. 29, 1965. He studied vocal music with Ta-maki Shibata and cello and theory with Werkmeister at the Tokyo Imperial Academy of Music (1904-08), then composition with Bruch and Karl Leopold Wolf at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1908-13). He founded the Tokyo Phil. in 1915, and also appeared as a guest conductor with the N.Y. Phil. in 1918 in a program of Japanese music, including some of his own works; conducted in Russia in 1930 and 1933, and then throughout Europe in 1937. His compositions follow in the German Romantic tradition of Wagner and Strauss, with impressionistic overtones. Although most of his MSS were destroyed during the Allied air raid on Tokyo on May 25,1945, several works have been restored from extant orch. parts.


dramatic: Opera: Ochitaru tennyo (The Depraved Heavenly Maiden; 1912; Tokyo, Dec. 3, 1929); Alludine et Palomides (1913); Ayante (The Sweet Flag; Paris, 1931); Kurofune (The Black Ships; 1939); Yoake (The Dawn; 1939; Tokyo, Nov. 28,1940); Hsiang Fei (1946-47; Tokyo, May 1954). ORCH.: Sym., Kachidoki to heiwa (The Shout of Victory and Peace; 1912; Tokyo, Dec. 6, 1914); Shdwa sanka (Homage to Shöwa), symphonic poem (1938; Tokyo, May 13,1939); Kamikaze, symphonic poem (1944). CHAMBER: Several pieces. VOCAL: Meiji shdka (Ode to the Meiji) for Chorus and Orch. (1921; Tokyo, April 26,1925); 2 cantatas: Bonno-Koru (Tokyo, Oct. 9,1932) and Tairiku no reimei (The Dawn of the Orient; Tokyo, July 7, 1941); nearly 1,000 choral pieces and songs.

Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn /Dennis McIntire