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Teizo Matsumura

Japanese composer and poet Teizo Matsumura, a contemporary of Toru Takemitsu, was born at Kyoto on 15 January 1929. Orphaned and recovering from tuberculosis in the early 1950s, he began to write music and haiku. Influenced not only by Asian traditions, but also by Ravel and Stravinsky, he went on to receive the 1974 UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers award and the 1978 Suntory Music Award.

His best known work, the opera Chinmoku ('Silence'), on which he worked for thirteen years, is based on the novel of the same name by Endo Shusaku, and was first performed in 1993.

Teizo Matsumura died on 6 August 2007.


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