Hayato Matsuo

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Hayato Matsuo
Born (1965-08-13) August 13, 1965 (age 53)
Kashiwa, Japan
Occupation(s)Composer, orchestrator, arranger
Years active1991–present
Associated actsKoichi Sugiyama

Hayato Matsuo (松尾早人, Matsuo Hayato, born August 13, 1965) is a Japanese video game and anime composer, arranger and orchestrator. He has worked on titles such as Front Mission 3, Final Fantasy XII, the Shenmue series, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Hellsing Ultimate. Inspired by his mother, a piano teacher, he graduated from the music composition department of Tokyo University of the Arts. While in college, he composed for the band G-Clef, and occasionally stood in for members. Upon graduating in 1991, he went to work under Koichi Sugiyama, the composer for the popular Dragon Quest video game series, arranging his pieces for the 1991 anime Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai.

Also in 1991, Matsuo began to work as a video game music composer himself, writing the score to Master of Monsters. Over the next few years, he worked as an independent composer on several games and anime series, including Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen. In 1995, he joined the independent music composition group Imagine. He has continued since then to compose and orchestrate works for over 40 games and anime shows, as well as the television show Kamen Rider 555 and a few pieces as part of original albums.


Early life[edit]

Matsuo's mother was a piano and electone teacher, and she inspired him to enjoy classical music. She also organized concerts for local children to compose and perform music in, which he took part in. While in school, he was inspired by Yellow Magic Orchestra and Rick Wakeman.[1] He eventually attended Tokyo University of the Arts, where he focused on classical music. While in school, however, he also was involved in more popular music, and was involved with the progressive rock band G-Clef, filling in sometimes for members of the band, many of whom he was friends with.[2] He also provided some music for the band.[3] When he was near graduation, Matsuo was introduced to Koichi Sugiyama, the composer for the Dragon Quest franchise. Upon graduating, he went to work with Sugiyama.[2]


Matsuo began his career arranging Sugiyama's pieces for Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai in 1991. His first work as a composer also came in 1991, with the video game Master of Monsters. His first better-known work came in 1993 with Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, which he co-composed with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata.[2] Since then, he has worked on over 30 other video games, both as a composer and orchestrator.

Beginning in 1994, Matsuo has also worked as a composer for anime series. His first was Magic Knight Rayearth, which he considers to be a turning point in his career.[2] In 2003 he composed the soundtrack for the live-action television show Kamen Rider 555, and in the early 1990s he arranged pieces for orchestration for the Orchestral Game Music Concerts. While his early work was done as an entirely freelance composer, in 1995 Matuso was recruited by Kohei Tanaka to join Imagine.[2] Imagine is an independent music composition and sound effect group for video games, consisting of nine employees.[4] While Matsuo has never released an album of original works himself, he has released numerous original tracks on six albums released on Shinji Hosoe's Troubadour Records label.


Video games[edit]



Other projects[edit]

  • Be filled with feeling (1992) – "Chromatic Beast"
  • G.T.R (1993) – "G.U.T"
  • Great Wall (1993) – "The Manic Depressive", "A Planet's Death"
  • KAKI-IN 1993 SUMMER (1993) – "Salmon Roe"
  • T·O·U·R·S (1994) – "Mindful of Midnight Flying"
  • 2197 (1999) – "Old Pork"


  1. ^ Matsuo, Hayato (2005-02-09). 今月の作家 (in Japanese). Japan Composers & Arrangers Association. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  2. ^ a b c d e Greening, Chris (2010-01-03). "Hayato Matsuo Interview: Dark Orchestral Writing". Game Music Online. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
  3. ^ "Creators:imagine|株式会社イマジン" (in Japanese). Imagine. Archived from the original on 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  4. ^ "Company:imagine|株式会社イマジン" (in Japanese). Imagine. Archived from the original on 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  5. ^ Greening, Chris. "Interview with Hayato Matsuo (January 2010)". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 14 May 2018.

External links[edit]

  • (in Japanese) Profile at IMAGINE inc.