• Joy of Music – Over 250 years of quality, innovation, and tradition
  • Home
  • Blog
  • Work of the Week – Toshio Hosokawa: Your Friends From Afar

Work of the Week – Toshio Hosokawa: Your Friends From Afar

Talking cats, living teddy bears and flying fish - quite normal! At least in Toshio Hosokawa's children's play Your Friends From Afar (German original title “Deine Freunde aus der Ferne”). It will be performed in Germany for the first time on 3 March 2024. Members of the SWR Symphony Orchestra will perform the German premiere together with narrator Rainer Strecker at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

Hosokawa wrote his first work for children for young people aged 5 to 9. The text was written in German by Yoko Tawada. Your Friends From Afar was commissioned by United Instruments of Lucilin, supported by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and premiered in Luxembourg in 2021.

Your Friends From Afar by Toshio Hosokawa: Musical journey of discovery

In the story, the narrator is invited to the beach by a talking cat and helps a robot and a teddy bear against a couple of rowdy boys. The teddy bear and robot also start to speak human and invite the main character to get to know their different worlds in return. An adventurous journey of discovery into the land of robots and the forest of teddy bears begins on the back of a fish.

The commissioners requested that I compose in my normal technique, without tonality. I found the suggestion both challenging and interesting, being liberated from the prejudice that children cannot understand contemporary music techniques. I did however ensure that the music was clear and perceivable for children. Ms. Yoko Tawada, a famous Japanese writer living in Berlin, wrote the text for the piece. She possesses a keen linguistic sensibility and has a good sense of humor. (Toshio Hosokawa)

There will be another performance of Your Friends From Afar  with the SWR Symphonieorchester on 17 March 2024. The concert on this day will take place at the SWR Studio in Freiburg im Breisgau.

Further Reading:

Toshio Hosokawa: Composer Profile  

Your Friends From Afar / Deine Freunde aus der Ferne: Work Details and Online Score   

Website SWR Symphonieorchester 

illustration: Keong-A Song


Head of Promotion | Concert Opera Media Division

Schott Music Mainz :: Work of the Week, Composers and Repertoire