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Photo At the beginning of the year 2005
I finally completed the vocal score of "Ai-en", an opera in three acts on December 3, 2004. Soon I will start the orchestration and plan to complete it by October this year. This opera was commissioned by the National Opera House of Japan (the New National Theatre of Japan) and will be premiered on February 17, 18, and 19, 2006. The opera concludes my eight opera series based on 1500 years of Japanese history which I began composing in 1975. Information regarding the opera will be announced by New National Theatre this coming January.
The English version of my 4th opera "Wakahime" completed by Colin Graham, is under preparation for publication by the BCA in March. Please watch for information about both of these operas at "Invitation of Miki operas" on this URL site.
The Japanese version of my 3rd opera "Joruri" will be premiered on September 21, 23, and 25 this year at Theatre 1010, Tokyo, conducted by Andreas Mitisec and directed by Colin Graham. Setsu Asakura, the Artistic Director, will be the set and costume designer. The cast will be comprised of top artists in Japan.
The concert production of my first opera "Shunkinsho" on June 5, 2004 at Izumi Hall, Osaka was a huge success both musically and artistically. Ticket sales were also quite high and sold out almost one month before the performance. It was a record not only in terms of new Japanese new opera but all kinds of famous operas like Mozart at this well-known hall in Osaka.
Last November, I produced and directed several concerts of "Asia Ensemble". On November 9, the ensemble gave an excellent concert in Tokyo at Tsuda Hall of the best repertory which I commissioned after my founding piece "Origin". Professor Shukoh Mizuno, a famous composer, said that it is "A miracle ensemble", and "one of the best concerts that I have attended within the past few years. A historical moment." These words are an honor for me. The audience was satisfied and moved by our performance. At the same time the compact disk "Asia Ensemble - Origin" was released.
I have produced many of Ms. Yang Jing's concerts since 1997, and last year we had many successful concerts touring each area in Japan in May-June, August, October-November including outside concerts in the summer. She mainly played her excellent old and new solo pieces, but at the Tokyo recital on November 4 she also performed my short pieces "Time Coloration I, II, III, IV". The last two pieces were premieres. This coming March, the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra is scheduled to perform my "Pipa Concerto" with Yang Jing on the 11th and 13th in Honolulu.
Ms. Reiko Kimura, one of the top soloists of 21-string koto, had her recital on
September 24 at Toppan Hall, Tokyo and achieved the first through performance of my serious five solo pieces "Tennyo", "Venus in Spring", "Venus in Autumn", "From the East", and "Rhapsody". Performing these pieces straight through is quite difficult but her performance was of the highest quality. At her next recital, she plans to perform all twenty of my all "Ballades for Koto".
I composed several requiems. The first one was composed in 1963 for baritone solo, chorus and orchestra was recorded by Camerata Tokyo. Now I am composing a new chapter "Song of Flowers" for an upcoming performance by the Tokyo Liedertafel on November 20. I dedicated the original requiem to victims in the Pacific Ocean area during the Second World War. When I started composing this new chapter, a large earthquake occurred in Sumatra and a huge tsunami attacked many places along the Indian Ocean. With deep regret I need to compose this music. Both the original and new parts of this Requiem will be dedicated to the people who are suffering in South Asia.
The 15th regular concert of ORA-J will be held on March 23 and produced by Yoko Sato. In this concert my "Koto Futae" for 13 string koto duet and "Lotus Poem" for shakuhachi and Japanese instruments ensemble will be performance. We are looking forward an excellent shakuhachi performance by Seizan Sakata.
I need to compose a percussion sextet or octet for a premiere on March 5 by the Japanese Percussion Society. My idea is to use a special "Zomeki" rhythm throughout the work. This rhythm is very popular in the Awa Odori (dance) Festival held in my native prefecture of Tokushima. The piece will be entitled "Z Conversion".

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Minoru Miki