Obituary: Japanese Composer Akira Nishimura Dies at 69

By Francisco Salazar

On Sept. 7, 2023, Japanese composer Akira Nishimura died.

Nishimura was born in Osaka on Sept. 8, 1953, and went on to study composition and musical theory on a graduate course at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

He also studied Asian traditional music, religion, aesthetics, cosmology, and the heterophonic concepts. Following his studies he composed several orchestra pieces, choir pieces, chamber music, and concertos. He also composed two operas, “Asters” in 2019 and “Hot Rain in August” in 1986. “Asters” was premiered at the New National Theatre Tokyo to great acclaim.

During the 1993-94 season, Nishimura was composer-in-residence of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa and during the 1994-97 season, he was composer-in-residence of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

For his contribution to classical music, he won several national and international awards, including the 36th Suntory Music Award. In 2007 he served as a judge at the Toru Takemitsu composition award.