YASUSHI AKUTAGAWA (1925 - 1989)
Yasushi Akutagawa was born in Tokyo in 1925, the son of one of the leading Japanese writers of the first half of the century, Ryunosuke Akutagawa. He studied in Tokyo with Ifukube and Kunihiko Hashimoto, guided by the aesthetic philosophy of rough manliness of the former and the lyricism of the latter. He was greatly influenced by the music of Shostakovich and Prokofiev, which was widely heard in Japan after the war, and he played an important part in the musical exchange between Japan and the Soviet Union. He died in 1989. Some of Akutagawa's works were played under the direction of leading Russian conductors, including Anosov and Gergiev. His compositions include an opera, Orpheus of Hiroshima, Ellora Symphony, a cello concerto, and some hundred examples of music for the cinema.