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Suntory Hall hosts concert for children

by Chiho Iuchi

Tokyo Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert for children on July 26 at Suntory Hall in Minato Ward, Tokyo, that focuses on contemporary Japanese composers.

“It’s rare to present an all-Japanese composers’ program at a concert for children,” says conductor Naoto Otomo, who has been engaged in the subscription concerts for children that started at the Suntory Hall in 2002.

As part of Suntory Hall’s educational program, those children’s concerts have been held four times a year, each with a specific theme such as melody, harmony, instruments, symphonies, countries and cities. They have featured high-quality performances by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and talented children selected through auditions.

The theme for 2008 is “Great Composers,” including Ravel and other French maestros; Toru Takemitsu and Japanese contemporary music; Tchaikovsky and Russian music; and Beethoven and his world. The upcoming concert, the 26th in the series, presents various pieces drawn from works by 10 Japanese composers, such as “Requiem for Strings” by the world-renowned Toru Takemitsu (1930-96) and the nostalgic “Akatonbo (Red Dragonfly)” by Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965). The concert presents the composers chronologically, following the history of Japanese music after Western music was introduced during the Meiji Era (1868-1912).

“It is a good opportunity to listen to music by major Japanese contemporary composers. Adults are also welcome,” Otomo says.

The concert is on July 26 at 11 a.m. at Suntory Hall. Tickets, priced at ¥3,000, are available at Suntory Hall Ticket Center. For more details, call (03) 3584-9999 or visit www.codomoteiki.net/