About Commissioned Work
This work was commissioned by Sony Music Foundation as the required repertoire for “THE 11th INTERNATIONAL OBOE COMPETITION OF JAPAN 2015 in Karuizawa” and has been dedicated to Hansjörg Schellenberger.
Rather than treating the oboe as the star instrument of the modern orchestra, this work started by imagining this instrument as a primitive instrument in which a double reed, wood, and a cylinder are attached together. Perhaps music was born through the process like a spell that calls upon the supernatural such as gods and spirits. The voice that calls upon the existance we cannot see became the “song,” and this “song” creates an arch towards the spirits. In this work, “Spell Song” is sung with the Oboe (through the vibration of the double reed), as the extension of the human “voice.”
Each phrase of the “song” has a form like the eastern calligraphy. In one phrase, there’s a central note, and it is preferable to treat the creation of that central note’s “life” is one phrase. How to flexibly express the lively motion of the central note’s “life” is the important theme behind the performance of this work. My music is a calligraphy towards space and time through the use of sounds.
Toshio Hosokawa was born in Hiroshima in 1955. He has been to Germany to study composition for ten years since 1976, with Isang Yun at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin and with Klaus Huber at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg.
In 1980, Hosokawa participated for the first time in the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. Since then, he has been working on composition mainly in Europe and Japan, gaining a good reputation worldwide as one of the leading Japanese composers and being commissioned by the primary orchestras, the major music festivals and the significant opera theatres in Europe and America one after another.
His second opera HANJO commissioned by the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2004 (Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, staging), his orchestral work Circulating Ocean, commissioned by the Salzburg Festival in 2005 (premièred by the Vienna Philharmonic), Woven Dreams, an award-winning work of the 5th Roche commissions in 2008 (for the Lucerne Festival and the Carnegie Hall, premièred by Cleaveland Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival in 2010), his third opera Matsukaze commissioned by La Monnaie in 2011 (Sasha Waltz, staging), Horn Concerto ―Moment of Blossoming―, co-commissioned by Berliner Philharmoniker, the Barbican Centre London and Concertgebouw Amsterdam (premièred by the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2011) and many others were premièred under the baton of the world’s leading conductor, for example, Kazushi Ono, Valery Gergiev, Franz Welser-Möst, Sir Simon Rattle and so on. Many of these metioned works have been performed as an important repertoire in each genre.
In 2001, Hosokawa became a member of Akademie der Künste, Berlin. He was Composer- in-Residence with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in the 1998-2007 season, with Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin in the 2006/2007 season and with WDR Rundfunkchor Köln in the seasons 2006–2008. In 2006/2007 and again in 2008/2009 he was invited as one of the Fellows by Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. In 2012, he was elected as the member of Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, München.
At the Salzburg Festival 2013, many works by Hosokawa were performed, including two premieres; Klage for soprano and orchestra (his second commission by the festival), and Ancient Voices –In memory of Wolfgang Schulz– for wind quintet (commissioned by Ensemble Wien-Berlin).
Currently, he serves as Music Director for the Takefu International Music Festival, a guest professor at Tokyo College of Music and at Elisabeth University of Music.