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Jo Kondo


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Jo Kondo (近藤譲; surname Kondo; b. Tokyo, Japan, 1947) is a Japanese composer of music. He won the third prize and made his debut in Japan-Germany Contemporary Music Festival in 1969. He graduated from the composition department of Tokyo University of Arts in 1972. He serves as Professor of Music at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo and also teaches at Tokyo University of Arts and Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima.

Kondo’s works are often structured mathematically, using minimal principles of composition. His interests include hocket, the music of Ancient Greece, and strong differences in instrumental timbre, all of which are reflected in his compositions. A similar stylistic point of reference would be the Italian composer Franco Donatoni. The chamber version of his 1975 composition Sight Rhythmics reflects the latter in its unusual instrumentation of violin, banjo, steel drum, electric piano, and tuba.

Kondo’s music has been performed by the London Sinfonietta, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra (NHK交響楽団), the Arditti Quartet, Nexus, the Balanescu Quartet, and Aki Takahashi (高橋アキ).

Kondo’s works have been recorded on the Hat Art, ALM, Fontec, and Deutsche Grammophon labels. His scores are published by the University of York Music Press and Edition Peters.

His notable students include Linda Catlin Smith and Paul Newland.

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