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Photo At the end of October 2008
"Hokuto International Music Festival (HIMF)" 2007 had quite good results. I wrote an article “Look back upon HIMF 2007” as the Artistic Director. You can see it at our website: www.hokutofestival.com
in English as well as all program book and another report.
Please enjoy them.

I produced the Grand Finale of the 22nd National Cultural Festival in Tokushima on November 4th.
As the main events I composed "The Happy Pagoda", two hours folk opera and a “25 minutes Folk Symphony
I haven’t mention these projects until now, because of my tremendous business. Still now I have not free time to report. So I am trying plain report for them. Concerning "The Happy Pagoda" you can see data at "Invitation for Miki Operas" in this URL. The production which directed by Mr. Tatsuji Iwata, a fine librettist of the opera, also conducted by Mr. Toru Sakakibara was very nicely welcomed by audience. But from during the rehearsals I and Mr. Iwata started to prepare real opera version of the work. This means Mr. Iwata rewrite libretto many places for singing voice and I also need to recompose for voices. In addition to them, I need to revise vocal score thinking orchestra. And after complete the vocal score I will start orchestration through the opera. At this point, I finished 90% of the vocal score. 
As the "Folk Symphony" you can see data at "Prospect of concert Pieces" in this URL. It become my seventh symphony.
And also the piece must be the most popular symphonic piece among my orchestral works, because the generous use of seven Japanese famous folk melodies and rhythm.

Before this festival, I invited from Hong Kong. I would like to mention an important symposium in Hong Kong in October 2007. It was surprising occasion to know great power of Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and wonderful conductor Mr. Yan Huichang. Also I was very touched by powerful performance of "A Cosmopolitan Symphony" composed by talented Mr. Cheng Dazhao from Beijing. HGCO requested me to compose a orchestral piece for them. I answered that I will do it after the completion of my 9th opera "The Happy Pagoda".

From January 28th I attended as the jury for 10th International Competition in Composition of Sacred Music in Fribour (Switzerland). It was very useful experience for me to judge with fine musicians from different European countries.
I would like to express my deep thanks to Prof. Thüring Bräm, the chairman of the judge members. 
During this tour, on Sunday February 3rd from 17:00, The Chamber Soloists Luzerne with pipa soloist Yang Jing performed "Chamber music pieces of Minoru Miki" including East Arc, String Quartet, Marimba Spiritual, Pipa Secret Piece "Ai-en (For Love to Die)" etc. at Hochschule Luzern Musik
Also in the morning on same day my lectur concerning my composing way has held at Hochschule. This occasion made by Prof. Jürg Eichenberger, a distinguished cellist. Thank you Jürg.

In 2006, a special concert "New & unknown marimba- percussion works of Minoru Miki" was successfully held at PACIC 2006 in Austin, USA. It was include six pieces = Marim Dan-Dan, Sohmon III, Yoshitsune-Daiko, Kincho-Daiko, Cassiopeia Marimbana and Z Conversion. They have newly recorded by excellent TAMU Perccussion Ensemble directed by Prof. Brian Zatoh. In addition to above six pieces, a percussion duet "Dotoh" has added to the Recording. The title of CD is "Sohmon III".

On Feb. 28th the Bellarti Trio from UK performed my "Piano Trio" (1986) beautifully at Rutheran Ichigaya Church. They also had a recording settion on 26th at another hall. New CD distributed from Mittenwald MTWD-99036 includes my Piano Trio.

On March 11th Aura-J which I am acting as the Artistic Director  had 21st regular concert at Yotsuya Kumin Kaikan as "New Kagura" which I organized in 1976. The style of performance is sometimes with dance, drama, or singing etc. but along Japanese artistic tradition. This time we employed dancers and played several pieces including my "Craine" (1976). I also composed "Shamisen Concerto" (2008) for excellent young shamisen soloist, Mr. Tetsuya Nozawa. The piece premiered by him and Aura-J under conduction by Toru Sakakibara with passion.   

On May 5th, my 8 minutes tiny duet "Kirei" for shakuhachi and 21-string koto (2008) premiered at Inage Kinen-kan, Chiba by shakuhachi player Mr. Unzan Hagiwara and koto player Ms. Kaori Kimoto. I have dedicated this piece for Mr. Hagiwara's great donation for the first HIMF in 2006 with much thanks.
I also prayed long life of young children during composing specially. I hope many amateur players will enjoy this warm melodies for ever.

On May 18th, Tokushima Hogaku Shudan whichorganized by Ms. Ray Fujimoto, a passionate hogaku reader, had special concert celebrating their 10th anniversary year by all Miki works. It was very honor and proudly fact for me who was born in Tokushima-city. I conducted 3 of 7 pieces: "Dances Concertant No.1 - Four Seasons", "Setouchi Nocturn" and "Tamafuri from Hote". I believe that this ensemble will certainly become one of the most excellent ensemble which consisted by all Japanese traditional instruments, because they have strong member source from a middle school and a high school.
Both school have fine education systems of Japanese special  instruments trained by Ms. Fujimoto since almost 20 years ago. I addition to young members source, they have already 40 members covered by all generation who have strong will to serve as volunteer. Great!   

On May 21st , Pro Musica Nipponia which I found in 1964 and until 1984 I served as the Music Director, had their 191st regular concert at Daiichi-Seimei Hall. As the concluding piece  they played my "Hote (giant frame)" (1976) by 36 professional players. It was significant!
Mr. Yorihide Fukushima, a composing member of PMN confessed me "I felt that Hote is only one piece which has certainly showed the possibility of an orchestra by only  Japanese instruments."  

At last in June, Creative Core Co. published DVD of opera "Ai-en (To die for Love)" with both Japanese and English sub-title. This is the first issue of DVD publishment from past performances at New National Theatre (Opera Theatre) since their opening. Reviews from many magazines click here.

On June 7th, my fun club "Yui no Kai" had sponsorship for the concert "Yang Jing & Yui Ensemble" at Oji Hall, Ginza as their 20th years celebration. They performed "Heian music scope", "East Arc" as their standard repertory composed by Minoru Miki, and Yang Jing's two excellent new pieces. One is solo with her own paintings titled "Hatsu - Shoh - Kai - Wa", and another one is "Shansui" and "Libai" from her first choral piece "Hidden Face of the Moon". Both shows her gifted talents.

Hokuto International Music Festival (HIMF) 2008 from August 22nd to August 31st, specially seven concerts since 27th to 31st were main events of this year. All concerts have left beautiful musical present for audience even under very special rainy whether caused by probably much CO2. You can see all programs in English after beginning of December at our website: www.hokutofestival.com  Our stuffs are translating them. Now English guide of this year concerts can see, also precise English data including my report "Look back upon the HIMF 2007" is available to look.

Beginning of September, finally "Composing of Japanese Instruments" published from University of Rochester Press.
This is English translation from my "Nihon Gakki-hou" which published from Ongaku No Tomo Sha, Tokyo in 1996. The Japanese version already republished five times, also Chinese version published from People’s Music publisher, Beijing in 2000. By this book, I believe all foreign composer can compose for all Japanese instruments easily or rather logically. Also usual musician or reader can enjoy Japanese instruments from many aspects. English version translated by Marty Regan, edited by Philip Flavin. About the book surfaced, please click left side book phote. You can see the Table of contents.

On Oct. 7th, the highlight concert from my opera “The Tale of Genji” (2000) performed at Tsuruoka Cultural Center, Yamagata prefecture as a miracle. This three hours opera composed in both English and Japanese version. Most recent case is first try in Japanese. We use only one hour music parts with singers, chorus, instrumental soloists (pipa and 21-string koto) and orchestra on stage. Many Japanese audience touched by significant music scale on each area and choral scene, because of full understanding the text. Maestro Hirofumi Yoshida did very excellent job to controll many aspects. Yang Jing's pipa and Reiko Kimura's koto gave extraordinary wide color on musical dimension. For performing style we learned many new way. Many stuffs felt that we need to perform Genji under these style in many city in Japan. Without hesitation the producer started to plan Tokyo or Yokohama concert for next year.       

On October 25th, I completed the vocal score of "The Happy Pagoda" opera version without special play within the scene eight where the libretto didn`t arrive from Mr. Iwata. Already I spent one year and half to compose the vocal score for this opera version since the very beginning of composing "The Happy Pagoda".  I will start orchestrating soon, but to conclude No, 9th opera along Japanese 1600 years history.
I will pay enough time never thinking completing period.     

Minoru Miki