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Keiko Harada

Country of origin: Japan
Birthday: April 17, 1968

About Keiko Harada

Keiko Harada’s career as composer began with her improvising on the piano as a child. She studied composition, piano, chamber music and conducting at the Toho Gakuen College of Music and graduated in composition in 1993 with Kenkyu-ka Katei (post-graduate) in 1993. She studied composition with Manabu Kawai, Akira Miyoshi and after college in several international seminars with Brian Ferneyhough, piano with Michio Mamiya and chamber music with György Kurtág.

Harada’s works have won numerous awards: the 62nd Music Competition of Japan Awards (1st prize) for chamber work, the Yasuda prize, the E. Nakamichi Prize (1993), the Yamaguchi Prefectural Music Award (1995), the Akutagawa Orchestra Composition Award (2001), the Kenzo Nakajima Music Award for solo work (2004), the Otaka Prize for orchestra (2009) and others. Her international activities have been supported by grants from The Japan Foundation, The Nomura Cultural Foundation, The Japan-Canada Fund, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Darmstadt (IMD), Royamont (France), Bartok Seminar and others. In 2002 she worked in New York City on a grant of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC).

Many of Harada’s works were commissioned by leading festivals, ensembles or seminars in many countries (Ictus, Champ d’Action, Elision, Phorminx, Drumming, Remix, Ensemble Modern, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri-Japan Symphony Orchestra, Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka). Especially many soloists have requested new works from her like Yo-Yo Ma, Takashi Yamane, Carin Levine, Mike Svoboda, Stefan Hussong, Toshiya Suzuki, Kaori Nakajima, Nanae Yoshimura, Naoko Kikuchi, Etsuko Tazaki, Rumi Ogawa, Yutaka Oya, Piet Van Bockstal. Several compositions have been selected as repertoire pieces such as for the International Jacobi Competition (2003), the International Arasate Competition (since 2009), the International Ensemble Modern Academy (since 2008). Her portrait concerts took place in Japan, Belgium, NHK FM Radio, at the Gewandhaus and Saarland Radio, at the International Asiago Festival and the music festival “Nachtstuecke”.

In recent years she has done many collaborative works with choreographers (Astad Deboo, Taipei Dance Circle and others), theatre directors (Satoshi Miyagi), Japanese traditional flower arts (Kouzo Okada) and film directors (Kiju Yoshida, for “Kagami no onnatachi – Women in a Mirror”, invited film at the International Film Festival in Cannes). Further artistic activities include the leading of the Ensemble Manufacture (1989–1999) and the founding of the Ensemble Nomad (1997–1998). In the period 2004-2008 she worked as a councillor of the Tokyo Wonder Site where she developed “Support Projects for Young Musicians”, “Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) in Tokyo” and many others. Since 1999 she has chaired the executive committee of SOUND GEAR, a project bringing together musicians from various parts of the world presenting new music as performing arts with professionals of the theatre, as well as an educational project for young composers. Her latest educational projects were at Stanford University and California University, Berkeley supported by The Japan Foundation.

She is currently associate professor of composition at the Tokyo College of Music. In addition, she is lecturing at the Toho Gakuen College of Music and the National Fine Arts University, Tokyo.