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Friday, May 30, 2003


Frenchman claims first Takemitsu

Joel Merah of France won the first Toru Takemitsu Composition Award on Sunday for his piece "Allegories."

British composer George Benjamin, who served as the judge for the final selection concert at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, praised Merah's piece for its remarkable sonorities and its marvelous mixture of gentleness and force. Merah received a prize of 1 million yen.

The second prize, of 700,000 yen, went to Dai Fujikura of Japan for "Calling Timbuktu."

The third prize was awarded to two composers: Phillip Neil Martin of Britain for his "Nights Bright Days" and Vittorio Zago from Italy for "Da/Fort." Each received 500,000 yen.

Ippo Tsuboi of Japan took fourth place, worth 300,000 yen, for "The Star Thrower."

Each piece had its strong points, Benjamin said.

The five finalists were selected in November 2002 from among 100 pieces from 32 countries on the basis of the written music itself. The pieces were then played by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra at the final selection concert.

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