Toshio Hosokawa

Composer in Residence 2021

Toshio Hosokawa is Composer in Residence of the 2021 Grafenegg Festival. He will leave his mark on the festival as a composer, teacher and conductor. He will compose a fanfare for the opening of the 2021 Grafenegg Festival as well as a violin concerto, which receives its Austrian premiere on 20th August. The German violin virtuoso Veronika Eberle is the soloist for this new work, jointly commissioned by the Grafenegg Festival, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. As a teacher, Toshio Hosokawa will lead the composer conductor-workshop INK STILL WET from 13 to 20 August 2021.

To become one with nature, to merge the self with nature: Toshio Hosokawa's artistic ideal places him within the long Japanese tradition of the link between nature and man. He sees the forest as the perfect place for his music, where birdsong and the sounds created by wind can unexpectedly become part of the performance. But it is not the Idyllic that is central to Hosokawa's preoccupation with nature. Rather, he is interested in the ambivalent relationship between man and nature, which in his homeland has been shaped by the experience of catastrophic events. As the composer of several stage works, he has explored this most strongly in his work «Erdbeben. Träume» («Earthquake. Dreams»), which premiered at the Stuttgart opera House in 2018. Two years earlier, his exploration of the Fukushima catastrophe, «Silent Sea», was performed at Hamburg State Opera. The second major area of tension in Hosokawa's music lies between the avant-garde of the West and traditional Japanese culture. Born in Hiroshima in 1955, Hosokawa was shaped by his years of study in Berlin, where on the one hand he became acquainted with the European trends in contemporary music and on the other hand gained the courage to deal intensively with his Japanese identity from afar. Since the success of his oratorio «Voiceless Voice in Hiroshima», which premiered in 2001, his gentle tonal language bridging East and West has been admired internationally. His works have been performed just as frequently by orchestras such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras as by the most important orchestras in Asia. Hosokawa contributed the variation «Loss» for Rudolf Buchbinder's «The Diabelli Project» in the Beethoven anniversary year.

As Grafenegg Festival Composer in Residence, Toshio Hosokawa follows Konstantía Gourzí, Peter Ruzicka, Ryan Wigglesworth, Brad Lubman, Christian Jost, Matthias Pintscher, Jörg Widmann, Krzysztof Penderecki, Heinz Holliger, Tan Dun, Cristóbal Halffter, HK Gruber, James MacMillan and Brett Dean.

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