Joji Yuasa

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Joji Yuasa
Jōji Yuasa
Born(1929-08-12)12 August 1929 (age 94)
Other namesGeorge Yuasa
Years active1952 - Present

Joji Yuasa (湯浅譲二, Yuasa Jōji, born 12 August 1929)[1] is a Japanese composer of contemporary classical music.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Joji Yuasa was born in Kōriyama, Fukushima and is a self-taught composer. He first became interested in music while a pre medical student at Keio University, and in 1952 he joined a young artists’ group Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop, 1951 - 1957) in Tokyo, an organization for the exploration of new directions in the arts, including multimedia.[3]


From 1981 to 1994 he was a music researcher and professor at the University of California, San Diego, where he is currently a professor emeritus. He has also served as a guest professor at the Tokyo College of Music since 1981, a professor at Nihon University since 1993 and an honorary member of ISCM. Yuasa is the recipient of a 1996 Suntory Music Award.[citation needed]

Yuasa has written a wide range of compositions, including orchestral, choral and chamber music, music for theatre, and intermedia, electronic and computer music. His style has been described as "consistent explorations of a distinctive, maverick yet elegant voice" that has elements of twelve tone, impressionism, romantic, and traditional classical composition.[4]

As a guest composer and lecturer, he has contributed to the Festival of the Arts of This Century in Hawaii (1970), New Music Concerts in Toronto (1980), Asian Composers League in Hong Kong (1981), concert tour for Contemporary Music Network by British Arts Council (1981), Asia Pacific Festival in New Zealand (1984), Composers Workshop in Amsterdam (1984), Darmstadt Summer Course for Contemporary Music (1988), Lerchenborg Music Tage (1986, 1988), the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo (1990), and Music of Japan Today: Tradition and Innovation (Hamilton College, NY - 1992).[citation needed]

Selected commissions[edit]

His works have been commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Saarland Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Canada Council, Suntory Music Foundation, IRCAM and National Endowment for the Arts of the U.S.A.[citation needed]

Selected fellowships and awards[edit]

He has received a number of fellowships and awards, from: Japan Society Fellowship (1968–69), Composer in Residence at the Center for Music Experiment UCSD (1976), Berlin Artist Program by DAAD (1976–77), the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music in Sydney (1980), the University of Toronto (1981) and IRCAM (1987).[citation needed]


  1. ^ Slonimsky, Nicolas (1978). "Yuasa, Joji". Baker's Biographical dictionary of musicians (6th ed.). New York: Schirmer Books. p. 1930. ISBN 0-02-870240-9.
  2. ^ Luciana Galliano, The Music of Joji Yuasa ed. Peter Burt. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4438-3763-7
  3. ^ "EMF Institute: Jikken Kobo". Archived from the original on 22 June 2006. Retrieved 7 July 2006.
  4. ^ Midgette, Anne (5 March 2007). "Exploring the Difficult to Define". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2020.

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