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Photo At the beginning of the year 2002

After completing “The Tale of Genji”, my 7th full length opera according long Japanese history and premiered by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2000 ( See Opera category in this URL), I composed next pieces:

“Pacific Rainbow” commissioned by Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and premiered by the symphony conducted by Naoto Otomo in Honolulu in March 2000. Duration is 12 min.

“Music Tale of Genji” as a trio concerto for ORA-J (Orchestra Asia – Japan Ensemble), premiered in Tokyo in September 2000. Consisted by 11 Chapters , total duration is 45 min. Trio played by Yang Jing/Pipa, Reiko Kimura/Koto, Seizan Sakata/Shakuhachi, and conducted by Yasushi Inada.

“Memory of the Earth” commissioned by Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and premiered by the symphony and six Asian traditional instrumental soloists conducted by Kurt Masur at Suntory Hall in Tokyo in November 2000. Duration is 25 min.
Six soloists was Yang Jing/Pipa, Seizan Sakata/Shakuhachi, Reiko Kimura/Koto, Chi Borag/Matouchin, I Ketut swentra/Gamelan percussion instruments, Yukie Kurihara/Gangsa.

“Fantasy of Flowers” for flute and piano is commissioned by the Japan Flute Society for their 10th Flute Convention Competition in August 2001 in Kobe as its subject piece. Duration is 6 min. and half. Published by BCA.

“Setouchi Nocturne” for 2 shakuhachi, 2 koto and Bass Koto is commissioned by Okayama City Art Festival and premiered by Okayama Sankyoku Kyokai conducted by the composer in November 2001 at Okayama Symphony Hall. Consisted by 1) At an Ancient Port 2) Silver Waves [there is “Golden waves” with Pipa solo] 3) At the Mercy of the current. Total duration is 17 min.

“East Arc” for Pipa, Violin, Cello, Marimba(doubling with percussion instruments).
Consisted by 1) Fantasy on Rice Fields 2) Pipa Nocturne 3) Dancing along the Shoe 4) Enka 5) Ancient War. Duration is 28 min. This piece is composed for new activity of “Yang Jing & Yui Ensemble” by my will. The member is Yang Jing/Pipa, Kioko Miki/Violin, Shinobu Hashimoto/Cello, Michiyo Usuki/Marimba & Percussion.Å@First performance will be done on 20 April, 2002 at Tsuda Hall.

In the year 2001, almost of above pieces have well done their premieres, specially “The Tale of Genji” had its Japanese premiere successfully at Nissay Theatre in Tokyo by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 0n 16th , 18th , 20th of September 2001. The performances took fine audio-visual recording using four high-vision cameras. We are trying to find out the chance to issue formal DVD for international use.

In Autumn, my new book has published. “Along the process of the opera <Tale of Genji>” is combined 60 essays for Tokushima News Paper since 1996 and added precise memos for Genji’s creation according its progress.

During the year, I paid much efforts to direct ORA-J(Orchestra Asia – Japan Ensemble) for their regular concerts. Also I produced to have many opportunities for Yang Jing, a fine pipa soloist, with my talk. On the other hand, Uta-Za had 11 performing chances of “Monkey Poet”, a folk-opera.

In early November, I went to Beijing and took part as a foreign judge for the ROI Cup International Competition of Chinese Chen, and gave lectures at both Chinese and Central Music Conservatory.

In the year 2002, I will complete “Lotus Concerto” for shakuhachi and orchestra which is new version of “Lotus Poem” composed in 1994.

The first concert is scheduled on 18 January at new Toppan Hall in Tokyo. There, ORA-J will hold their 10th regular concert according my plan “New Kagura 2002”, and cooperate with several kinds of dance including aerobics. ORA-J’s concert series in 2002 is decided on 6 June and 8 November.

Uta-Za is having tour in Kyushu presenting 7 stages of “Monkey Poet” from the end of January to 10 February.

My “Pipa Concerto” will be performed by Yang Jing and Osaka Century Orchestra conducted by Kazuhiro Koizumi on 8 March at the Symphony Hall in Osaka. The same piece is scheduled its amateur orchestra premiere on 28 April at Minato Mirai Hall in Yokohama by Machida Symphony Orchestra conducted by Shunji Aratani. Pipa soloist is of caurse Yang Jing.

On 20 April, “Yang Jing & Yui Ensemble” is having a concert at Tsuda Hall, Tokyo. In second half, “East Ark” will be premiered by above members.
With this piece, “Yang Jing & Yui Ensemble” are taking part of “The 4th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition & Festa”. We are playing “East Ark” on 18 May at Izumi Hall in Osaka for the Festa department.

My next eighth opera is commissioned by advisable opera theatre in Japan. I asked Ms. Jakucho Setouchi, a famous nun writer, to write libretto according story on eighth century concerning relationship with Tang (Old China) and Buddhism. Fortunately she agreed my proposal and the libretto will complete by the end of 2003 or early 2004. After completing this opera, my full length eight operas will connect long Japanese history from 5th century to 19th Century.

Minoru Miki