September 23, 2005 Library of Congress Presents Toru Takemitsu Tribute

Press Contact: Trish Taylor Shuman (202) 707-1940
Contact: Concert Line: (202) 707-5502

The Library of Congress will present a special autumn mini-festival, in tribute to the eminent Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, from Sept. 26 to Oct. 8. Masatoshi Mitsumoto is the conductor and artistic director for the project, which is titled “Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: The Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu.” Presented in cooperation with the Japan Foundation, the tribute opens the 80th anniversary season of the historic Concerts from the Library of Congress series, founded in 1925.

The festival marks the 75th anniversary of Toru Takemitsu’s birth with a chamber music concert, screenings of 10 films with scores by the composer, and a roundtable discussion of his music with scholars, composers and film experts.

The artists’ roster for the concert includes noted interpreters of Takemitsu’s work, including flutist Paula Robison; harpist Naoko Yoshino, for whom the trio “And then I knew ‘twas Wind,” was written; violinist Shoko Aki; violist Maria Lambros; cellist Evelyn Elsing; the Potomac String Quartet; and pianist Audrey Andrist.

All Library of Congress concerts and other public events are presented free of charge but require tickets for admission, which are available from TicketMaster. See details below.

A seminal figure in 20th century music, Toru Takemitsu created a bridge between Eastern and Western music, blending traditional Japanese aesthetics and contemporary Western compositional techniques. His prodigious output includes works for orchestra, choir and chamber ensemble. His string ensemble composition “Dorian Horizon” was commissioned in 1965 by the Library’s Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and a trombone concerto, “Fantasma/CantosII,” was written as a co-commission from the Library and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Takemitsu composed scores for more than 90 films, many now considered classics of the Japanese cinema. “Ran” and “Woman of the Dunes” are among the Takemitsu-scored films to be screened in the Library’s Pickford Theater during the festival.

Mark Swed, music critic of the Los Angeles Times, will moderate a roundtable discussion on Toru Takemitsu’s music, offered as a pre-concert presentation at 5 p.m. on Oct. 8. The discussion will be held in the Whittall Pavilion on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Panelists are Peter Grilli, film producer and president, Japan Society of Boston; Masatoshi Mitsumoto, conductor; Jon Newsom, former chief of the Library’s Music Division; Roger Reynolds, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer; and Paula Robison. No tickets are required for the roundtable discussion.

The Library’s Music Division and Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound divisions will present screenings of the following films in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

From his first film in 1956 to his death in 1996, Takemitsu was closely linked to a generation of directors who have forcefully challenged both the established norms of Japanese society and the traditional modes of filmmaking. Showcasing some of the composer’s best film work, this series is made possible through the generous support of the Japan Foundation, Janus Films, Kino International and the American Cinematheque. No tickets are required, but seating is limited. Reservations may be made by phone, beginning one week before each screening. Call (202) 707-5677 during business hours. Reserved seats must be claimed at least 10 minutes before show time, after which standbys will be admitted.


Programs subject to change without notice

  • Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. – “Harakiri” (1962)
  • Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. – “Woman of the Dunes” (1964)
  • Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. – “Kwaidan” (1964)
  • Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. – “Empire of Passion” (1978)
  • Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. – “Toru Takemitsu: Music for the Movies” (1994) and “Antonio Gaudi” (1984)
  • Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. – “Fire Festival” (1984)
  • Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. – “Ran” (1985)
  • Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. – “Onimaru” (1988)
  • Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. – “Black Rain” (1989)
  • Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. – “The Assassin” (1964)

Tickets for Library of Congress concerts are distributed by TicketMaster at (301) 808-6900 or (410) 752-1200. Each ticket carries a nominal service charge of $2.75, with additional charges for phone orders and handling. Tickets are also available at TicketMaster outlets and online at Although the supply of tickets may be exhausted, there are often empty seats at concert time. Interested patrons are encouraged to come to the Library by 6:30 p.m. on concert nights to wait in the standby line for no-show tickets.


PR 05-193
ISSN 0731-3527