Ishii, Kan

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Composer Name


Born: March 30, 1921

Died: November 24, 2009

Country: Tokyo, Japan

Studies: Musahino School of Music (1939-43), Hochschule für Musik (Munchen)

Teachers: Goh; Tomojirô Ikenouchi; Odaka, Carl Orff, Fritz Lehmann

Japanese composer, Kan Ishii was one of the leading Japanese ballet dancers and he was educated to become a composer of ballet music, opera and orchestral works. He studied the piano at the Musashino School of Music (1939–43), served in the navy during the war and then worked as a pianist in his father’s company. His Prelude for orchestra won first prize in the 1949 Mainichi Music Contest and his ballet Kami to bayādere, choreographed by his father, was first performed in Tokyo the next year. After further studies with Orff in Munich (1952–4) he took a professorship at the Tōhō Gakuen School of Music (1954–66). He won a prize at the 1958 government-sponsored Art Festival for the Symphonia Ainu, which embodied his new interest in nationalist primitivism, and his ballet Marimo was in 1966 performed to great acclaim in several cities of the USSR. Also in that year he was appointed professor of composition at the Aichi Prefectural Arts University, Nagoya. He has also served as head of the Japan Composers’ Federation (1964–70) and president of the All-Japan Chorus League. Returning to Tokyo in 1986, he became a professor at Shōwa Music College. His music is highly emotional in quality and shows the strong influence of Orff. [1]

Works for Percussion

Music for Eight Percussion - Percussion Octet