Born in 1977 in Osaka Japan, Dai was fifteen when he moved to UK. The recipient of many composition prizes, he has received numerous international co-commissions from the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms, Bamberg Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and more. He has been Composer-in-Residence of Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014 and held the same post at the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France in 2017/18. Dai’s first opera Solaris, co-commissioned by the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra de Lausanne and the Opéra de Lille, had its world premiere in Paris in 2015 and has since gained a worldwide reputation. A new production of Solaris was created and performed at the Theatre Augsburg in 2018, and the opera received a subsequent staging in 2020.
In 2017, Dai received the Silver Lion Award from the Venice Biennale. In the same year, he was named the Artistic Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater’s Born Creative Festival.
In 2019, his Shamisen Concerto was premiered at Mostly Mozart festival in New York Lincoln Center and there have so far been 9 performances of this work by various orchestras.
In 2020, his fourth piano concerto Akiko’s Piano is to be premiered by Martha Argerich and Dai is currently composing his third opera, which will be revealed to the public in the same year.
His works are recorded by and released mainly on his own label Minabel Records in collaboration with SONY Music and his compositions are published by Ricordi Berlin.
Working with artists around the world
Dai’s works have been conducted and played by artists internationally such as Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Jonathan Nott, Martyn Brabbins, Gustavo Dudamel, Christian Arming, Alexander Liebreich, Kazuki Yamada, Kazushi Ono, Viktoria Mullova, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Claire Chase, Akiko Suwanai and Yu Kosuge.
During the 2018 season, his second opera The Gold-Bug (commissioned by the Theater Basel) was premiered and the concert version of Solaris was performed in Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre for the first time. Dai’s orchestral piece Glorious Clouds (co-commissioned by the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne and Orchestre national d'Île-de-France) and his third piano concerto Impulse (co-commissioned by Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre de Suisse Romande) were also premiered this year.
During the 2019 season, Dai created his first dance project, Sounding Seven Senses with dancer Koichi Omae. Aside from these premieres, Dai had two ‘Portrait Concerts’ dedicated entirely to his music at the Wigmore Hall in London and at Hakuju Hall in Tokyo.
Collaboration beyond genre
Dai works with artists from other many music genres such as experimental pop and improvisation including with Norwegian improvisers Jan Bang and Sidsel Endresen and those tracks are released under Jazzland Recordings.
Dai collaborated with David Sylvian on Sylvian’s album “died in the wool.”
Mitsubachi to Enrai (LISTEN TO THE UNIVERSE)
Dai was invited to compose an original piece for solo piano for the 2019 Japanese film, “Mitsubachi to Enrai” (Listen to the Universe) about a piano competition, which was a huge box office hit in Japan.
Dai’s work Spring and Asura, existing in four different versions, is an integral part of the narrative around which the story revolves.
As producer and curator
Since 2017 he has been the Artistic Director of the Born Creative Festival at Tokyo Metropolitan Theater, He also curated concerts at La Folle Journée au Japon in 2016 and 2019.
Since 2015, Dai has been leading composition classes for children from 4 to 14 years old in Soma, Fukushima, as a part of El Sistema Japan and sponsored by LVMH Japan.
What makes the so program special is that Dai brings many musicians from around the world with him, demonstrating the possibility of the instruments, teaching them how to write them down and communicating with these musicians. In this class, the children can hear their own compositions played right away.
Over ten albums are released on NMC, Commmons, KAIROS, Stradivarius, SONY Music and Dai’s own music label, Minabel Records. His works are published by Ricordi Berlin.
Dai often composes in direct communication with musicians for whom he writes his works. This is usually done via online chat and by sending fragments of the score to musicians and requesting them to record them onto their smartphones and send them back to him.
Dai was the youngest composer ever to win the Serocki International Composers Competition in 1998. Since then, he has been awarded many other prizes including the Ivor Novello and Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, the Internationaler Wiener Composition Prize, the Paul Hindemith Prize, the 19th Akutagawa Composition Award, the Silver Lion from Venice Biennale and the WIRED Audi Innovation Award.
Dai Fujikura is published by Ricordi Berlin.