Always an energetic and prolific artist, Dai Fujikura has had an active summer: aside from composing new pieces, including a film score, he has enjoyed a myriad of premieres of his works around the world. As the new season kicks off, we look back at Dai Fujikura’s five most exciting events of the past few months.
#1 New portrait album critically acclaimed
Fujikura’s new album Zawazawa
was singled out as a “special disc” by two critics of Record Geijutsu magazine. The CD track list displays the album’s wide range of instrumentation: from solo works for voice with various instruments to ensemble pieces and Tuba Concerto.
#2 Meeting Martha Argerich in Warsaw
These are actually two events: During Fujikura’s visit to Warsaw, where his piece Umi finally received its European premiere with the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia Varsovia, the composer met with legendary pianist Martha Argerich, who will perform his new Piano Concerto No. 4 – “Akiko’s Piano.” The work, due to be premiered on 5 August 2020 in Hiroshima, is offered in remembrance of the tragic events in Hiroshima. Find out more about the project here
#3 Playing Final Fantasy XII
Between composing and travelling Dai Fujikura always finds time to save the universe, at least in the video game world of Final Fantasy!
#4 Birthday party at the BBC Proms
Alongside 13 other composers, Dai Fujikura was invited to write a new orchestral piece for Martyn Brabbins’s birthday celebration at the BBC Proms. The compilation, Pictured Within: Birthday Variations for M.C.B, recalls Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Fujikura was responsible for the first variation, entitled tact 60
– the three-minute piece can also be performed as a stand-alone orchestra work.
#5 Shamisen concerto premiered twice
The International Contemporary Ensemble and shamisen player Hidejiro Honjoh premiered Dai Fujikura’s Shamisen Concerto at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival on 3 August. A month later, on 9 September, the orchestral version of the piece receives its world premiere by the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and Hidejiro Honjoh at the Punkt Festival in Kristiansand, Norway. In addition to those, there are 5 more performances planned. For the latest updates, check Dai Fujikura’s Twitter
03.09.2019 (Berlin, Germany)
Fluid Calligraphy (2010)
for violin and video ad lib.
Duo Berlin Strings
07.09.2019 (Cologne, Germany)
Water Path (2015)
Age-Freerk Bokma (org)
07.09.2019 (Kristiansand, Norway)
Shamisen Concerto (2018-2019)
Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra; Hidejiro Honjoh (shamisen); Christoffer Nobin (cond.); WP
14.09.2019 (Shiga, Japan)
Turtle Totem (2019)
Makoto Yoshida (cl); WP
28.09.2019 (Tokyo, Japan)
Horn Concerto No.2 (2015/2016/2017)
version for horn solo and ensemble
Ensemble Nomad; Nobuaki Fukukawa (hn); Norio Sato (cond.); WP
Horn Concerto No.2 will be premiered within the framework of Born Creative Festival in Tokyo.
Dai Fujikura has been an artistic director of the festival since 2017.
10.11.2019 (Tokyo, Japan)
for shō and electronics
Tamami Tono (shō); WP
14.11.2019 (Tokyo, Japan)
Glorious Clouds (2016/17)
Geidai Philharmonia Orchestra, Ken Takaseki (cond.)
01.12.2019 (Tokyo, Japan)
Sounding Seven Senses (2019)
for ensemble and a dancer
Ensemble from Geidai Philharmonia Orchestra, Koichi Omae (dancer); WP
03.12.2019 (Vienna, Austria)
Piano Studies 1: Frozen Heat (1998)
Julian Yo Hedenborg (pf)
20.12.2019 (Tokyo, Japan)
for saxophone and taiko drum
Kohei Ueno (sax) and Eitetsu Hayashi (taiko); WP
Photos: Kajimoto (Argerich and Fujikura); Seiji Okumiya (title, Dai Fujikura); Dai Fujikura/Square Enix (Screenshot of Final Fantasy XII); Chris Christodoulou (BBC Proms)