4 Finalists selected for Toru Takemitsu Composition Award 2017
[Judge: Heinz Holliger]


Heinz Holliger, judge of the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award 2017, has chosen the following 4 orchestral works out of 115 entries from 36 countries eligibly accepted by 30 September 2016. Screening was done with the anonymous scores having only their titles.
These 4 nominated works will be performed on 28 May 2017 at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall : Takemitsu Memorial for Mr. Holliger’s final judgement. Here is the list of finalists in order of their entry.


Toshio Hosokawa

© Priska Ketterer

Year 2017

Heinz Holliger (Switzerland)

Finalists (in order of entry)

Annachiara Gedda

Annachiara Gedda (Italy)
NOWHERE for orchestra

Born in Turin, Italy in 1986. She studied composition at the Turin Conservatory with Giorgio Colombo Taccani and in 2015 took a Master’s Degree in composition cum laude. She attended masterclasses with Luis Bacalov, Azio Corghi, Paola Livorsi and Tristan Murail.
Winner or special mention in several national and international composition competitions, her works have been performed in Italy and abroad during various important music festivals such as the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), Biennale di Venezia (IT), Gmem Festival les Musiques (FR), Expo Milano 2015 (IT) by musicians such as Ensemble 10/10 (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra), Divertimento Ensemble, Ensemble Télémaque, Ensemble TaG, Akiko Kozato and Valentino Corvino to mention but a few. Some of her pieces have been published by Sconfinarte, Bèrben and Zedde.

Zihua Tan

Zihua Tan (Malaysia)
at the still point for orchestra

Born in Kota Bharu, Malaysia in 1983. He is Canadian‐based composer whose works have been performed in Asia, Europe and North America, at events such as Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt (Germany), Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (Germany), Royaumont “Voix Nouvelles” (France), the Tongyeong International Music Festival (Korea), and Akademie Schloss Solitude Summer Academy (Germany).
Among the ensembles he has worked with include Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble Recherche, and Ensemble SurPlus. He has won several prizes and grants, including the “Goethe Award” at TIMF. Currently, he is a lecturer and doctoral student at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University.

Naoki Sakata

Naoki Sakata (Japan)
Paysages entrelacés pour orchestre

Born in Kyoto city, Japan in 1981. He finished Aichi university of the arts in 2007, Ecole normale de musique de Paris in 2008, The class of Stefano Gervasoni in Conservatoire de Paris in 2013 and the cursus I at IRCAM in 2014. His pieces have been performed in various festivals and projects such as Takefu International Music Festival, Festival Musica and Royaumont “Voix Nouvelles”. He has received Kuwabara prize, Sacem prize and 36th Irino prize. His works have been selected for Takefu composition award and Japan music competition. From 2010 to 2011, he was scholarship student of Rohm music foundation. Currently he lives in Paris.

Stefan Beyer

© Swen Reichhold

Stefan Beyer (Germany)
Ich habe nie Menschenfleisch gegessen for orchestra

Born in Braunschweig, Germany in 1981. Studied history at Leipzig University and musics and composition at Leipzig Music University “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” and Gothenburg Music University. Concert Examination in composition at Leipzig music university with Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf in 2011. Adjunct professor for orchestration from 2011 to 2013. Resident at Cité des arts in Paris (France) from 2015 to 2016, at Schloss Wiepersdorf (Germany) in 2016. Scholarships and composition prizes.
Worked with numerous ensembles and conductors, such as Ensemble Modern, Luxembourg Sinfonietta, Pablo Rus Bruseta, Johannes Kalitzke. Lives and works in Berlin.

Comments for the Final / as a single judge
for the Toru Takemitsu Composition Awards 2017

Having studied all 115 scores, I can say that it has been an important, enriching experience to have gained insight into the world of musical creativity of a young generation, into the problems and dangers, but also the chances and possibilities of worldwide interconnectedness, which all creative activity of our time is exposed to.

It was extremely difficult for me to choose only four works from the abundance of many impressive scores submitted, while at the same time attempting to do justice to all the participants of the competition.

I essentially looked for the underlying, uniquely personal message of each work, born from an inner need of the composer to express his or her original creativity. It goes without saying that this creative aspect has to go hand in hand with the mastery of the craft of musical composition, the old-fashioned notion of “métier”, which calls for a good sense of form, precise control through an accurate ear, thorough knowledge of the instruments used and mastery of orchestral writing.

Here is my final choice of four works:
(in entry order)

A very expressive, colorful score, rich in contrast, showing great abundance of formal elements. It has flexible tempi, mobile form and differentiated harmonies.

at the still point
This score reveals an almost dreamlike world of sound, immersed in itself. It is impressive through an inner calm, while movement is at the same time constantly stirring. The sound is transparent and diaphanous throughout.

Paysages entrelacés
Impressive through very precise representation of sound, excellent knowledge of the art of orchestration, accurate weighing and balancing of sounds. Within an almost continuous stream of sound, great abundance of formal elements and many contrasting light effects.

Ich habe nie Menschenfleisch gegessen
Very consistent and original score. This music dispenses with any ornamental, externally pleasing or virtuoso accessories and speaks with a great intensity, born from an existential imperative.

Heinz Holliger
Basel, 20th November, 2016

Final Concert

15:00, Sun. 28 May, 2017
Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall : Takemitsu Memorial

Toru Takemitsu Composition Award 2017: Final Concert

Heinz Holliger, judge
Kah Chun Wong, conductor
Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

Year 2019

Philippe Manoury (France)

Year 2020

Thomas Adès (United Kingdom)

Year 2021

Pascal Dusapin (France)

Toru Takemitsu Composition Award MOVIE


Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall/ Recital Hall

Concert Calendar

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Toru Takemitsu Composition Award