Kikuko Kanai (金井 喜久子 Kanai Kikuko?, née Kawahira, 13 March 1911 – 17 February 1986) was a Japanese composer.
Kikuko Kawahira was born on the Ryukyu island of Miyako-jima, Okinawa, and studied voice at the Nihon Music School and composition at the Tokyo Academy of Music with Kanichi Shimofusa and Kishio Hirao. Working as a composer, she produced songs and orchestral music using the Ryukyuan pentatonic scale.
In 1954 she studied the dodecaphonic method in Brazil with Hans-Joachim Koellreutter, and incorporated atonal composition into her work. She was awarded the Mainichi Prize for Cultural Publication in 1955, and a prize by the Okinawan government for her opera Okinawa monogatari in 1968. She died in Tokyo.
Selected works include:
- Ryūkyū no min’yō (‘Folksongs of Ryūkyū’) 1954
- Okinawa monogatari opera
- Miyako-jima engi (Legend of Miyako Island) (ballet), 1949
- Ryūkyū hiwa (A Hidden Story of Ryūkyū) (jazz ballet), 1951
- Hiren Karafune (Love Tragedy on Tang Boat) (op, 4, Kanai and K. Yano), 1960
- Okinawa monogatari (Tale of Okinawa), 1997
- Symphony, no.1, 1938
- Okinawa buyō kumikyoku (Okinawan Dance Suite): no.1, 1940, no.2, 1946
- Ryūkyū kyōsōkyoku (Ryūkyū Rhapsody) no.1, 1946
- Symphony, no.2, 1946
- Uruma no shi (Poem on Uruma), 1952
- Festival Overture ‘Hishō’, 1972
- Ryūkyū kyōsōkyoku no.2, pianoforte octet, 1950
- Ryūkyū Ballade, pianoforte, 1951
- Sonata, violin, pianoforte, 1952
- Brazil Rhapsody, pianoforte, 1955
- Hamachidori hensōkyoku (Variations on Hamachidori), koto, Electone, percussion, 1970
- Okinawa min'yō niyoru gasshōkyoku-shū (Choral Pieces on Okinawan Folksongs), 1953–60
- Haha to ko no Okinawa no uta (Okinawan Songs for a Mother and Children), 1965
Her work has been recorded and issued on CD, including:
- Just For Me - Noriko Ogawa plays Japanese piano music (1997) BIS
- Bridges to Japan Audio CD (17 October 2000) Bis, ASIN: B0000508RU
- Tyrrell, John (2001). The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians: Volume 13.
- Katayama, Motohide (1997). Just For Me - Noriko Ogawa plays Japanese piano music (CD booklet).
- Kanazawa, Masakata. "Kanai (née Kawahira), Kikuko". Retrieved 22 December 2010.