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Kōsaku Yamada

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Kōsaku Yamada


Kōsaku Yamada (9 June 1886, Tokyo – 29 December 1965, Tokyo) was a Japanese composer and conductor.

After studying at the Tokyo Music School, Yamada left Japan for Germany where he enrolled in the Berlin Hochschule and learned composition under Max Bruch and Karl Leopold Wolf and piano under Carl August Heymann-Rheineck, before returning to Japan. He travelled to the United States in 1918 for two years. During his stay in New York City he conducted the temporarily-organized orchestra, members of the New York Philharmonic and the New York Symphony, just before their amalgamation.

Yamada left about 1,600 pieces of music. Songs (Lieder) especially amount to 700 pieces of music excluding songs for schools, municipalities and companies. They were performed and recorded by many singers, which include Kathleen Battle, Ernst Haefliger and Yoshikazu Mera. His opera Kurofune (The Black Ships) is regarded as one of the most famous Japanese operas.

As a conductor, Yamada made an effort to introduce many orchestral works to Japan. He was the first performer in Japan of Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, Gershwin's An American in Paris, Mosolov's Iron Foundry, Sibelius' Finlandia, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1, Johann Strauss II's An der schönen blauen Donau, and Wagner's Siegfried Idyll.

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