Maki Ishii

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Maki Ishii ( Japanese 石井 眞 木 , Ishii Maki ; born May 28, 1936 in Tokyo , Japan ; † April 8 , 2003 in Kashiwa , Chiba Prefecture , Japan) was a Japanese composer and conductor .


Maki Ishii was born the third son of the dancer and choreographer Baku Ishii and the actress Yae Ishii . He is the brother of the composer Kan Ishii .

He first studied composition and conducting in Tokyo from 1952 to 1958 with Akira Ifukube, among others . He then continued his studies at the Berlin University of the Arts under Boris Blacher and Josef Rufer . In 1962 he returned to Japan.

In 1969 he was invited to Berlin by the German Academic Exchange Service as part of the Berlin artist program . Since then he has been active as a composer and conductor in Berlin and Tokyo.

On April 8, 2003, he died of thyroid cancer in the Kashiwa National Cancer Center in Kashiwa . He was 66 years old.


His early compositions are influenced by serial music and other Western European composition techniques of the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1960s he discovered traditional Japanese music for his compositions; since then these have been shaped by the conflict between European composition methods and elements of the sound world of Japanese traditional music.

Works (selection)

  • 1976: Black Intention I, for a recorder player
  • 1976: Monochrome, for Japanese drums and gongs
  • 1976: Mono-Prism, for Japanese drums and orchestra
  • 1985: Kaguyahime ballet ( 輝 夜 姫 , dt. The princess shining at night ), for ballet, 8 Japanese drums, 8 percussionists and 3 gagaku players
  • 1999: Tojirareta Fune ( 閉 じ ら れ た 船 , German ship without eyes ), chamber opera



  • Christa Ishii-Meinecke (Ed.): Western sound - Eastern sound: The music of Maki Ishiis. Moeck Musikinstrumenten + Verlag, Celle 1997, ISBN 3-87549-053-3

Web links