Artistic Profile (chronological)

(until 1994)

May 28, 1936
Born in Tokyo as son of dancer and choreograph Baku Ishii and actress Yae Ishii.
March 1943
First journey abroad to Corea and Mongolia on occasion of a dance tour of Baku Ishii.
October 1943
Attends a Gagaku (Bugaku) performance at the japanese Imperial Palace.
From 1948 to 1958
Music studies in Tokyo (violin, piano, conducting and composition).
1959
First attendance of the Darmstadt New Music Summer School.
From July 1958
Abroad studies in Germany. Studies at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin (West) under Boris Blacher (free composition), Josef Rufer (Twelve-Tone technique), Ernst Pepping (counterpoint) and Heinz Friedrich Hartig (harmonics).
February 1960
Premiere/Berlin: "Seven Pieces for small Orchestra" (op. 2), performed by members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
July 1961
First live encounter with the music of Richard Wagner in the festival hall in Bayreuth, e.g. "Tannhäuser" and "Der Ring der Nibelungen".
September 4, 1961
Premiere/Darmstadt, Bilthoven (Netherlands): Prelude and Variations for 9 Players" (op. 1); performed by: Kranichsteiner Chamber Ensemble and the Gaudeamus Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Bruno Maderna.
January 7, 1962
His father, Baku Ishii, dies.
September 1962
Debut concert/Tokyo: Works By Maki Ishii; performed by the NHK Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Seiji Ozawa and Maki Ishii.
September 1963
Premiere/Kyoto: "Aphorismen" (op. 5) at the 5th Festival for Contemporary Music in Kyoto; performed by the festival ensemble, conducted by Hiroyuki Iwaki.
February 1964
Premiere/Tokyo: "Gallow Songs" (op. 6) at the 4th Tokyo Festival for Contemporary Music, performed by the festival ensemble, conducted by Hiroshi Wakasugi.
1965
First electronic sounds experiments, NHK Electronic Music Studio, Tokyo, for his work "Hamon" (op. 9).
January 1966
First encounter with the buddhist ritual chant (Shōmyō) in the Hōryū-ji temple in Nara which proves to be pivotal for his work.
March 1966
First encounter with the Omizutori ceremony including "Shuni-e" (demon expulsion ceremony) in Nara (Japan).
1967
Organizes the "1. German-Japanese Festival for Contemporary Music", Tokyo. Supporting institution: Goethe Institute, Tokyo.
February 1968
Organizes the "2. German-Japanese Festival for Contemporary Music", Tokyo.
July to December 1968
Produces electronic sounds in the NHK Electronic Music Studio, Tokyo, for the work "Kyō-Ō".
February 1969
Premiere/Tokyo: "Kyō-Sō" (op. 14), performed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tadashi Mori
Premiere/Tokyo: "Kyō-Ō" (op. 13) at the "3. German-Japanese Festival for Contemporary Music", performed by the Festival Orchestra, conducted by Maki Ishii.
June 1969
Invitation to Berlin (West) by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) within the "Berliner Künstlerprogramm" framework. Since that time, Maki Ishii has been active in Berlin as well as in Tokyo as composer, conductor and organizer for concerts and festivals.
February 1970
"4. German-Japanese Festival for Contemporary Music", Tokyo
Musical Director for the "Car Pavillon" on the EXPO '70 world fair in Osaka, premiere of "Musique Mobile" (electronic sounds).
October 1970
Artistic Director of the concert event "Japanese Avantgarde" at the "Berliner Festwochen", premiere of "Sō-Gū" (op. 18) (on this occasion, the japanese traditional bamboo flute Shakuhachi and the piano were performing in a composition together for the first time in music history).
January 1971
Launch of the "Institute for Music-Projects Tokyo" together with the composer Yoshirō Irino.
February 1971
"5. German-Japanese Festival for Contemporary Music", Tokyo. New supporting institution: Institute for Music Projects Tokyo and the German Institute of Culture, Tokyo.
June 1971
Premiere/Tokyo: "Sō-Gū II" (op. 19), performed by the Gagaku-Ensemble with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa. For the first time in music history, the Gagaku ensemble an a western classical orchestra are heard together.
February 1972
"6. German-Japanese Festival for Contemporary Music", Tokyo
Concert tour to the U.S.A. as director of the Gagaku Ensemble with "Sō-Gū II" (op. 19), performed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (in San Francisco), and the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra (in Philadelphia and New York) conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
February 1973
Concert tour to Hong Kong as director of the Gagaku Ensemble with "Sō-Gū II" (op. 19). Opening concert of the "2. Hong Kong Festival", performed by the Gagaku ensemble with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
September bis October 1973
World concert tour (to Iran, Poland, Germany, France, Canada, U.S.A.) as organizer and director with the Gagaku ensemble, Heike-Biwa (traditional japanese lute) and the TOKK Ensemble (12 players of far east and western instruments, founded by Maki Ishii).
September 1973
Premiere/Bonn (Germany): "Polaritäten", Vers. I (op. 22), performed by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne conducted by Kazuyoshi Akiyama.
October 1973
Premiere/Berlin: "Polaritäten", Vers. II (op. 22), performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
October 1974
Concert tour with the TOKK Ensemble through Europe (Germany, France, Switzerland).
May 1975
Stay in Paris. French premiere of "Dipol" (op. 19a), performed by the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Hiroyuki Iwaki.
June 1975
Stay in southeast asia (Hong Kong, Phillipines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia).
July 1975
First visit of the japanese island Sado, where he first meets with the japanese drummer group Ondekoza (later, some of its members later form Kodō).
October 1975
European premiere/Berlin: "Jo for Orchestra" (op. 26), performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hiroyuki Iwaki.
November 1975
Concert tour with the TOKK Ensemble through Southeast Asia.
January 1976
Organizer, artistic director and member of the jury (with Yoshirō Irino and Kazuo Fukushima) of the 1. Panmusik Festival Tokyo and the 1. Competition for Japanese Traditional Instruments; Main supporting organizations: Institute for Music Projects Tokyo and German Institute of Culture Tokyo.
April 1976
Stay in the U.S.A., Boston: Rehearsal for "Mono-Prism", with the japanese drummer group Ondekoza and the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
July 1976
Premiere/Tanglewood (USA): "Mono-Prism" (op.29), performed by Ondekoza, the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
September 1976
Concert tour with the TOKK Ensemble through the Middle East and Eastern and Western Europe.
October 1976
Premiere/Berlin: "Monochrome" (op. 28) at the Metamusik Festival, performed by Ondekoza.
October 1976
European premiere/Berlin: "Sō-Gū II" (op. 19), performed by the Gagaku Ensemble of the japanese Imperial Court with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kazuhiro Koizumi.
February 1977
2. Panmusik-Festival Tokyo and the 2. Competition for Japanese Traditional Instruments.
September 1977
Member of the jury at the "International Music Competition" of the ARD Munich, category percussion.
February to April 1978
Production of electronic sounds for the composition "Omote" (op. 35) in the Electronic Music Studio of the WDR, Cologne.
May 1978
Premiere/Bremen (Germany): "Lost Sounds II" (op. 33) at Musica Nova, performed by Zsigmond Szathmary (organ).
June 1978
3. Panmusik-Festival Tokyo and 3. Competition for Japanese Traditional Instruments.
July 1978
Concert tour with the TOKK Ensemble through the U.S.A. and South America.
October 1978
Premiere/Cologne: "Omote" (op. 35), performed by Nagoya Kita (Nō flute), Sumire Yoshihara (percussion) and Maki Ishii (electronic sounds).
November 1978
Chamber concert/Paris: Works by Maki Ishii at the Festival D'Automne.
December 1978
Inauguration of the "Insel Musik Festival" Berlin (concert series for contemporary music) with Erhard Grosskopf, Gutama Soegijo, Thomas Kessler and others.
January 1979
Maki Ishii debuts as conductor: 65th subscription concert of the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra: "Tristan and Isolde" (Prelude and Isoldes Liebestod), "Tannhäuser" (Bacchanale, Der Venusberg) by Richard Wagner, and own works.
June 1979
Stay in the Netherlands; "Works by Japanese Composers" by Maki Ishii at the Festival for Contemporary Music, Middelburg (Netherlands).
September 1979
4. Panmusik-Festival Tokyo and 4. Competition for Japanese Traditional Instruments.
March 1980
Premiere/Berlin: "Sho-Kō" (op. 39), performed by Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hiroyuki Iwaki.
May 1980
Chamber concert/Berlin: "Works by Maki Ishii" at the "Insel Musik Festival".
June 1980
Stay in Hong Kong, Lecture "About the Situation of Japanese Contemporary Music".
September 1980
14. Panmusik-Festival Tokyo.
Premiere/Tokyo: "Beyond a Distance" (op. 41), performed by Aki Takahashi (piano) (composition in honor of Yoshirō Irino who died in June 1980).
September 1981
Chamber concert/Berlin, "Works by Maki Ishii" and European premiere/Berlin of "Mono-Prism" (op. 29), at the orchestra concert "Japan in Berlin" of the "Berliner Festwochen" festival, performed by Kodō, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maki Ishii.
Premiere/Cologne, "Dyu-Ha" (op. 46) at the Percussion Festival of the WDR, Cologne, performed by Kodō.
November 1981
15. Panmusik-Festival Tokyo ("Berlin in Japan").
September 1982
16. Panmusik-Festival Tokyo ("Jazz & Contemporary Music").
June 1983
Chamber concert/Tokyo, "Works by Maki Ishii" at the "Music Today" Festival for Contemporary Music.
Orchestra concert/Sapporo (Hokkaido, Japan): "World of Maki Ishii", special concert of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hiroyuki Iwaki.
August 1983
Stay in Switzerland; Orchestra concert/Geneva, at the festival "Été Japonais '83" of the Concerts Ville de Genève: "Maki Ishii", performed by Paul Zukofsky (violin), Tadao Sawai (Koto), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Maki Ishii.
May 1984
Premiere/Berlin: "Kaguyahime" (Night gleam princess, symphonic suite; op. 56), performed by Kodō and Berlin Percussion, conducted by Maki Ishii.
Concert tour/Netherlands with "Kaguyahime" (symphonic suite op. 56), performed by Kodō, Berlin Percussion, and the Circle Percussion, conducted by Maki Ishii.
July 1984
17. Panmusik-Festival Tokyo.
November 1984
Premiere/Tokyo: "Kaeru no Shomyō" (Buddhistic Chants of Frogs, op. 61), performed by the monks of the buddhistic Shingon sect and the Tendai sect, conducted by Maki Ishii.
June 1985
Premiere/Berlin: "Mono-Prism II" (op. 65), at the UNICEF-Concert/Percussion (Aid for Africa), performed by Eitetsu Hayashi (japanese drums), members of the "Deutsche Oper" Berlin, conducted by Maki Ishii.
June 1985
Premiere/Berlin: "Gedatsu" (a spirit delivered; op. 63) at the Horizonte '85 festival, Berlin, performed by Michiko Akao (Yokobue, a japanese transverse flute) and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Masaki Nakata.
July 1985
1. Tokyo Summer Festival (Music, Exoticism and Orientalism), organization and artistic direction Maki Ishii with Kyoko Edo and Takashi Funayama.
February 1986
European premiere/Berlin: "Kaeru no Shomyō" (Buddhistic Chant of Frogs; op. 61), at the Inventionen '86 festival, performed by the monks of the Shingon sect and others, conducted by Maki Ishii (for the first time in history, buddhist monks perform their chants in a catholic church (St. Sebastian church, Berlin)).
July 1986
2. Tokyo Summer Festival (Pan-National-Music), articistic direction Maki Ishii with Kyoko Edo.
December 1986
Performance/Tokyo: A Signal Fire Of Modern Dance In Japan (Memorial concert on the occasion of the 100. birthyear of Baku Ishii and Kōsaku Yamada). Organization and artistic direction: Maki Ishii with Takashi Funayama.
April 1987
Concert/Berlin: Kodō – Works By Maki Ishii. On the occasion of the 750th anniversary of Berlin; performed by Kodō, Berlin Percussion conducted by Maki Ishii.
July 1987
3. Tokyo Summer Festival (Creation and Performance).
October 1987
Chamber concert/Berlin, "Works by Maki Ishii" at the "Insel Musik Festival", performed by Mutsuko Fujii, Nachiko Maegane, Mie Miki, Kei Ishii, and others.
May 1988
Lecture/Berlin: "Kammergespräche" (chamber talks): "Nature, Sound and Time in my Musical Universe" ("Natur - Klang - Zeit, meine Musik") in the Hochschule der Künste Berlin (West).
July 1988
Premiere/Holland: "Kaguyahime" (Night gleam princess; ballet version, op. 56b), on the occasion of the opening of the Holland Festival; Nederlands Dans Theater, Jiří Kylián (choreography), Gagaku, Circle Percussion and others, conducted by Maki Ishii.
September 1988
Premiere/Tokyo: "Momotaro Onitaiji" (Momotarō slays the demons; op. 80), Modern Dance, Gagaku, Bugaku, Reigaku, Kabuki, percussion etc. Staging and musical direction Maki Ishii (composition contract by the National Theater Japan).
February 1989
San Francisco, "Lecture Concert Maki Ishii" ("Nature, Sound and Time in my Musical Universe"), at the Festival of New Music.
March 1989
Performance/Den Haag and Amsterdam (Netherlands), Essen (Germany): "Kaguyahime" (ballet version, op. 56b), Nederlands Dans Theater, Jiří Kylián (choreography), etc., conducted by Maki Ishii.
July 1989
5. Tokyo Summer Festival (German Romanticism/Dawn for Berlin).
October 1989
Orchestra concert/Tokyo, "Profile of a Composer - Maki Ishii" (Suntory Music Foundation Concert), premiere of "Fū Shi" (Shape of the Wind) (op. 84), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maki Ishii.
January 1990
Orchestra concert/Tokyo, "Works by Maki Ishii" (303. Abonnement concert of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hiroyuki Iwaki).
March 1990
Chairman of the Executive Committee, Asian Music Festival '90 (13th Asian Composers League, Conference - Festival in Japan) in Tokyo and Sendai (Japan).
September 1990
Stay in the U.S.A., concerts at the Los Angeles Festival and in New York, "Suien Densetsu" (Legend of the Water Flame; op. 88), performed by Michiko Akao, Kayoko Shiraishi, Yasunori Yamaguchi and others.
September 1990
Lecture/Los Angeles: Los Angeles Festival, "Maki Ishii: About my Music".
January 1991
Orchestra concert/Tokyo, artistic direction and conductor of the 1. Contemporary Symphonic Works (130th subscription concert of the New Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, annual concert series).
February/March 1991
Performance/Den Haag (Netherlands) and Paris (french premiere in the Opéra Paris): "Kaguyahime" (ballet version, op. 56b), Nederlands Dans Theater, Jiří Kylián (choreography), Gagaku, Circle Percussion etc. conducted by Maki Ishii.
July 1991
Orchestra concert/Tokyo, Kodō - "Gathering/Works of Maki Ishii", performed by Kodō, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maki Ishii (Kodō 10 years anniversary concert).
October 1991
Chamber concert/Yokohama, "Music of Maki Ishii" at the Festival Kanagawa: Premiere "Piano piece – north - silver - night (winter) " (op. 93), performed by Kenji Kobayashi, Isako Shinozaki, Aki Takahashi, Sumire Yoshihara etc. conducted by Maki Ishii.
December 1991
Berlin, "Sanukitephon - The Stone Instrument" (Donation/hand over to the Japanese-German Center Berlin), concert lecture and demonstration of the Sanukitephon: "Strange Tales: Urashima Tarō" (op. 92), performed by Mutsuko Fujii, Kyoichi Sano, F. Feurich conducted by Maki Ishii.
January 1992
Premiere/Orchestra concert/Tokyo: "Floating Wind" (Symphonic Linked Works; op. 84-86), at the 2. Contemporary Symphonic Works (135th subscription concert of the New Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo) conducted by Maki Ishii.
June 1992
Orchestra concert/Den Haag: "Werken van Maki Ishii" at the Het Slagwerkfestival Den Haag, performed by Murk Jiskoot, Wim Vos, Luuk Nagtegaal, Circle Percussion, Residentie Orchestra conducted by Jac van Steen.
September 1992
Stay in Melbourne and Sydney (Australia); Australian premiere of "Percussion Concert - South - Fire - Summer" (op. 95), performed by the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa conducted by Hiroyuki Iwaki, Solo: Thomas O'Kelly.
Lecture in the Opera House Sydney: "About my music".
November 1992
Artistic direction of the concert "The New Tradition" at the Japan Music Festival Berlin 1992 in the large concert hall of the Sender Freies Berlin, performed by the Tokyo International Music Ensemble.
February to March 1993
Performance/Den Haag, Amsterdam (Netherlands) etc.: "Kaguyahime" (ballet version op. 56b), Nederlands Dans Theater, Jiří Kylián (Choreographie), and others, conducted by Maki Ishii.
March 1993
Lecture Concerts: "Westliche Klang - Östlicher Klang - Die Musik Maki Ishiis/Schöpfung aus zwei Musikwelten" - in the Japanese-German Center Berlin and the Japanese Culture Institute Cologne. Lectures: Wolfgang Burde and Maki Ishii. Excerpts from "Music for Shō and Violoncello" (op. 77), "Yoru no hibiki for Violin solo" (op. 82) etc., performed by Mayumi Miyata, Thomas Rößler, and Marianne Boettcher.
July 1993
Artistic direction of the Goldblend Concert Osaka 1993. "Percussion Concert - South - Fire - Summer" (op. 95), "Mono-Prism" (op. 29) and "Bolero" (M. Ravel), performed by Sumire Yoshihara, Kodō, and the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maki Ishii.
July 1993
Japanese premiere of "Kaguyahime" (ballet version, op. 56b) in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka, Nederlands Dans Theater, Jiří Kylián (choreography) etc. conducted by Maki Ishii.
Artistic direction of the Okunagara Festival of Japanese Drumming '93 in Gujō Hachiman, performed by Katsuji Kondō (Kodō), Circle Percussion, Dondoko-Za, 11 japanese drummers. Performed works: "River God" (by Masanori Fujita), "Monochrome" (op. 28) etc. Symposium: "About japanese drummers", participants: Kuniharu Akiyama, Wolfgang Burde, Hiroyuki Iwaki, Akio Jissoji, Michael de Roo. Moderation: Maki Ishii.
September 1993
Director of the concert "The New Symphony Orchestra Tokyo" at the 43. Berliner Festwochen 1993 in the Berlin Philharmonie. Performed works: "Floating Wind" (Symphonic Linked Works; op. 84-86), "Samsara" (by Masanori Fujita), "Lauda Concertata" (by Akira Ifukube), Solists: Keiko Abe, Yasunori Yamaguchi and Berliner Percussion.
September 1993
Artistic direction of the Goldblend Concert Tokyo 1993. "Percussion Concert - South - Fire - Summer" (op. 95), "Mono-Prism" (op. 29) and "Bolero" (M. Ravel). performed by Sumire Yoshihara, Kodō, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maki Ishii.
November 1993
Premiere/Tokyo: "Haruka Nari, Sō-Gū for shakuhachi and koto (20 strings)" (op. 99), performed by Kifu Mitsuhashi, Nanae Yoshimura.
December 1993
TV and laser disc recording of "Kaguyahime" (ballet version, op. 56b) in Den Haag (in the Nederlands Dans Theater). Hans Hölscher (recording director), Jiří Kylián (choreography), Nederlands Dans Theater, Gagaku, Circle Percussion etc. conducted by Maki Ishii.
December 1993
Den Haag (Netherlands): Artistic direction of the concert "Traditionele En Nieuwe Muziek Uit Japan"; premiere "San Shun" (op. 98), performed by Sukeyasu Shiba, Satoru Yaotani and Mayumi Miyata.
March 1994
Chamber concert/Osaka, "Profile of a Composer - Maki Ishii" (Suntory Music Foundation Concert), Performed works: "Four Bagatellen" (op.3), "Lost Sounds I – Version C" (op. 32) etc., performed by Machiko Oguri, Mutsuko Taneya, Keiri Nakano, Sukeyasu Shiba, Sumire Yoshihara, Isako Shinozaki and others.
May 1994
Premiere/Tokyo: Symphonic Ballad "Towards Time Dragondeep" - Music for Imaginary Ballet of "Urashima Tarō" (op. 100) at the "Music Tomorrow '94" concert. NHK Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yuzo Toyama.
June 1994
Premiere/Kyoto: "Rekinen 1200" (Chronology 1200) for Reigaku (Haisho, Kugo and Hokyo) (op. 101). Performed by Takeshi Sasamoto, Ayako Shinozaki, Yasunori Yamaguchi.
Organization of the "Concert of the 14th Irino Prize Tokyo 1994" with Jōji Yuasa, Yoriaki Matsudaira etc.
July 1994
Stay in Avignon (France): Premiere "Susanō" (modern Nō dance) – Music for 3 Nō players, Recitation, Yokobue, Koto (20 strings), percussion and electronic sounds (op. 102) at the Festival d'Avignon '94. Staging: Hiroshi Teshigawara, performed by Hideo Kanze, Masakuni Asami and Mansai Nomura (Nō players), Maki Ishii (musical director), solists: Michiko Akao, Nanae Yoshimura, Yasunori Yamaguchi and others.
1994-2003
(to be added).
April 8, 2003
Maki Ishii dies of thyroid cancer at the Kashiwa National Cancer Center, age 66.
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Last change: 2009-10-25
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