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Dai Fujikura

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Dai Fujikura


Dai Fujikura (b. 27 April 1977, Osaka, Japan) is a Japanese born composer of contemporary classical music.

Dai Fujikura moved to London when he was 15 to study at Dover College as a music scholar to complete his secondary education. His initial ambition was to compose music for cinema. Studying the music of Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti and Tōru Takemitsu at Trinity College of Music provoked a gestalt shift: Dai became an aspiring contemporary composer, whose extensive knowledge of cinematography gave his music a fresh, individual voice. By the end of his second year he had already won the Serocki International Composers Competition. Before graduating, Dai's music had been broadcast on many European radio stations, won several other prizes, and had been performed by a list of illustrious ensembles and soloists including: Orkest de Volharding, the London Sinfonietta, Colin Currie and Harry Sparnaay.

Despite this fortuitous start, and the strength of early works such as Frozen Heat, Cari4nics and Eternal Escape, Dai wanted to develop his technique. A visit to Darmstadt, where he first heard Japanese traditional music, and a master's with Edwin Roxburgh at the Royal College of Music helped Dai embrace this musical heritage, composing works like Okeanos Breeze for a mix of Japanese and western instruments. Whilst at the RCM he was also mentored by Péter Eötvös, writing Fifth Station for the London Sinfonietta.

This period denotes an important phase in the development of Dai’s music. He experimented with spatial separation, a technique where he breaks up the traditional seating of the orchestra, sometimes placing them around the auditorium for both aural and dramatic effect. The first orchestral work using this technique was Calling Timbuktu (2nd prize Takemitsu Competition 2003) has been performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestras. Also he started to experiment with video, writing teki and moromoro for solo piano and film. Research into spatial separation, and cinematographic musical structures continued at King's College London under George Benjamin, leading to a Ph.D.

A portrait concert by the Philharmonia Orchestra, retrospectives in New York and Chicago, work with Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wein, and a subsequent major commission for Vast Ocean at Donaueshingen Music Days with Eotvos launched Dai as a major new voice of the European avant-garde.

Dai was one of only two people asked to write a piece for the official Boulez 80th birthday celebrations at Cite de la Musique (Code 80). Subsequent commissions include two pieces for Ensemble Intercontemperain, (one celebrating their 30th birthday), a new work for twelve percussionists for the 2006 Lucerne Festival, a major orchestral and electronic work commissioned by IRCAM and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and a piano concerto for Noriko Ogawa and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Dr. Fujikura has been composer-in-residence of Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014, and held the same post at the Orchestre national d'ile-de-France in 2017-18. His first opera, Solaris, had its world premiere in Paris in 2015

Works for Winds