AKIRA IFUKUBE (1914 - 2006)
The Japanese composer Akira Ifukube was born in Hokkaido into a family of distinguished origin. His interest in Western music was aroused by scores and records of music by Ravel, Falla and, above all, Stravinsky, influences that he brought together with traditional Japanese music. He was a prolific composer, writing in many genres, including music for Japanese instruments.
Ifukube wrote scores for some 300 films, collaborating in particular with Kurosawa, Naruse and Joseph von Sternberg. His music for the popular Godzilla series of monster films is widely known.
It was with his Japanese Rhapsody that Ifukube, as a student, won a Tcherepnin Award, which brought a brief period of study with Tcherepnin. Sinfonia Tapkaara takes its title from a ritual Ainu dance, music with which Ifukube would have been familiar since childhood in Hokkaido. Ritmica ostinata for piano and orchestra contains the ostinato patterns suggested in the title and bases its varying rhythms on literary patterns. Symphonic Fantasia No. 1 makes use of elements from his Godzilla film scores.