Go to Minoru Miki Home PgeSupervise / Performer & Performing group

ORA-J (Orchestra Asia - Japan Ensemble)
Reference: Pro Musica Nipponia

The formal name of this ensemble is the Orchestra Asia - Japan Ensemble (ORA-J).
ORA-J is the Japanese instruments section of the Orchestra Asia which is described in another page. The independent activities of ORA-J started on September 3, 1998 when its first regular concert was held at Casals Hall. As of 2001,ORA-J keep 30 more instrumentalists as regular member, and performs four regular concerts per year. Also the ensemble performs many other concerts in each prefecture in Japan, workshops at various schools, and planning concerts on abroad.

In 1963, when “Kurudando” was being performed, Minoru Miki decided to organize new ensemble involving all of the traditional Japanese instruments. As a result the Pro Musica Nipponia (Nihon Ongaku Shudan) was started in 1964 by 14 musicians. From that time, until 1984 Miki, as Artistic Director, devoted his efforts to creating many repertories and establishing an international reputation for PMN. He brought forward many kinds of concerts in Japan, and also produced more than 130 concerts abroad. He won the Grand Prize of the governmental Art Festival in 1970 with PMN’s four record set. In 1981, his “Symphony for Two Worlds” commissioned by the Gewandhaus Orchestra in their bicentennial celebration had its world premiere, and after twenty more performances around the world, the piece made its American debut with the New York Philharmonic and PMN under conductor Kurt Masur in 1994.

Since the founding of PMN, Miki has helped to organize several amateur ensembles in this genre. However, he began to feel anxious when no other professional ensemble appeared extend over more than 30 years. When ORA was founded in 1993, members from PMN gave their assistance but after several concert tours, some solo players wanted to move to ORA-J. In addition to the transfer, ORA-J sets auditions and is getting aspiring players as its own fresh registrants. Then ORA-J started as desirable rival with PMN.
ORA-J uses almost the same repertories as PMN, but soon their execution for each piece will showed different color. After the first regular concert, ORA-J performed the “Symphony for Two Worlds” with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra on 25th January 1999 at the Suntory Hall. In 2000, Miki composed Trio Concerto “The Music Tale of Genji” after his 7th opera “The Tale of Genji”, and premiered in September at Tsuda Hall successfully. In this case Yang Jing (Pipa) played with Reiko Kimura (Koto) and Seizan Sakata (Shakuhachi) as “Asian Soloists”.

Miki’s main works for this genre are showed below (selected pieces which use more than 6 players):

    Kurudando (1963) + mixed chorus
    Paraphrase after Ancient Japanese Music (1966) + soprano vocalize
    Figures for four group (1967~9)
    Ballades for Winging (1968) + tenor solo, mixed chorus
    Convexity (1970)
    Tanu Tanu Ballade (1971) + bariton solo, children chorus
    ÅgFour seasons” Dances Concertantes I (1973)
    Matsu-no-Kyoku (1974) + female chorus
    Wa (1976)
    Wasan Concerto (1976) + orchestra
    Hote (1976)
    Taro (1977) + 5 singers, children chorus
    ÅgNaruto Hicho” Dances Concertantes II (1977)
    Matsu Yo (1979) ;+ mixed chorus
    ÅgA Tale of Hachiro” Dances Concertantes III (1980) + song, narration (option)
    Little Suite (1980)
    Concerto Requiem = Koto Concerto No.3 (1981)
    Symphony for Two Worlds (1981) + orchestra (full size)
    Choral opera “Toge no mukau ni Nani ga Aruka” (1982) + 6 singers, mixed chorus
    Rainbow Overture (1983) + Chinese traditional instrumental orchestra
    Matsu no Kyousoukyoku = Koto Concerto No 4 (1984)
    ÅgKita no Uta” Dances Concertantes IV (1984)
    SOUL (1989) + Korean traditional instrumental orchestra
    Ki no Kane (1992) + soprano solo, female chorus
    LOTUS POEM = Shakuhachi Concerto(1994)
    Requiem 99 (1998) + marimba solo [NB] another version of Concerto Requiem
    Trio Concerto “The Music Tale of Genji”(2000) +pipa, shakuhachi, koto

    About scores and recordings of above works, please refer to the office of:
    Pro Musica Nipponia
    TEL +81-3-3378-4741, FAX +81-3-3376-2033-

President of ORA-J is Seizan Sakata http://www5.big.or.jp/~seiwa/
Vice President is Hiromitsu Nishikawa and Harue Hanabusa
Chief Producor is Yoshihiro Nara
Artistic Director is Minoru Miki (holding as same roll as ORA)

ORA-J will have own office with training room soon. Until this occasion please contact us through Miki’s e-mail address.

Minoru Miki