Toshi Ichiyanagi
一柳 慧
Ichiyanagi in 1960
Born (1933-02-04) 4 February 1933 (age 88)
NationalityJapanese
OccupationComposer
Pianist
Years active1954–2008
Notable work
Kaika
Spouse(s)
(m. 1956; div. 1962)

Toshi Ichiyanagi (一柳 慧, Ichiyanagi Toshi, born 4 February 1933) is a Japanese avant-garde composer and pianist. One of the leading composers in Japan during the postwar era, Ichiyanagi has worked in a range of genres, composing Western-style operas and orchestral and chamber works, as well as compositions using traditional Japanese instruments.[1] Ichiyanagi is known for incorporating avant-garde techniques into his works, such as chance music, extended technique, and nontraditional scoring.[1] Ichiyanagi was married to artist Yoko Ono from 1956 to 1962.

Early life and education

Ichiyanagi was born in Kobe in 1933.[1] He studied composition with Tomojirō Ikenouchi,[citation needed] Kishio Hirao [fr; ja], and John Cage.[1] From 1954 to 1960, he resided in New York City, where he studied at the Juilliard School and the New School for Social Research.[1]

Ichiyanagi was married to Yoko Ono from 1956 to 1962.[2] Ichiyanagi's decision to return to Japan, while Ono remained in New York, rendered the marriage untenable.

Career

Returning to Japan in 1960, Ichiyanagi collaborated with the anti-art collective Neo-Dada Organizers.[3]

One of Ichiyanagi's most notable early works is the 1960 composition Kaiki, which combined Japanese instruments, shō and koto, and western instruments, harmonica and saxophone. Another work, Distance (1961), required the performers to play from a distance of three meters from their instruments. Anima 7 (1964) stated that chosen action should be performed "as slowly as possible".

In 1963, Ichiyanagi co-founded an avant-garde music collective called New Direction along with fellow composers Takehisa Kosugi, Yuji Takahashi, and Kenji Kobayashi, and others.[1] The group disbanded in the late 1960s when most of its members relocated to New York, while Ichiyanagi remained in Japan.[1]

Ichiyanagi is the recipient of the 33rd Suntory Music Award (2001) and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage Award (2018). He has been honored with Japan's Order of Culture.[4]

Works

As listed in Schott Music catalogue:[5]

Operas

Orchestral works

Chamber works

Works for keyboard

Works for other instruments

Vocal works

Japanese instrumental works

Electronic music

Theater pieces

Film scores

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Merewether, Charles, ed. (2007). Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950–1970. Getty Research Institute. p. 121. ISBN 978-0892368662.
  2. ^ Japan, An Illustrated Encyclopedia, Kodansha International, Tokyo, 1993, p. 1155 mentions that she married him in 1956, but does not say until when they were married.
  3. ^ Merewether, Charles, ed. (2007). Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950–1970. Getty Research Institute. p. 121. ISBN 978-0892368662.
  4. ^ "Donald Keene, 7 others win Order of Culture", Yomiuri Shimbun, October 29, 2008.
  5. ^ Schott Music (2020-02-28). "Toshi Ichiyanagi".
  6. ^ Bouhours, Jean-Michel (1996). L'art du Mouvement: Collection Cinématographique du Musée National d'Art Moderne, 1919-1996 (in French). Musée National d'Art Moderne. Retrieved 16 June 2021.