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Takashi Yoshimatsu

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Tokyo, Japan (1953 – present)

Takashi Yoshimatsu (吉松隆, Yoshimatsu Takashi) (born 18 March 1953) is a Japanese composer of contemporary classical music. He is well known for composing the 2003 remake of Astro Boy.

Takashi Yoshimatsu was born in Tokyo, Japan, and like Toru Takemitsu, the composer generally considered to be Japan’s greatest in the western classical style, did not receive formal musical training while growing up. He left the faculty of technology of Keio University in 1972, and joined an amateur band named NOA as a keyboard player, emulating the music of Pink Floyd. He became interested in the jazz and progressive rock scenes, particularly in the possibilities being explored through electronic music.

He was a fan of the Walker Brothers and the Ventures when he was 13, but symphonies of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky fascinated him when he was 14. Since then he composed a number of pieces before making his name with the serialist ‘Threnody for Toki’ in 1981. Soon afterwards, he became disenchanted with atonal music, and began to compose in a free neo-romantic style with strong influences from jazz, rock and Japanese classical music, underscoring his reputation with his 1985 guitar concerto. As of 2007, Yoshimatsu has presented five symphonies, 11 concertos: one each for bassoon, cello, guitar, trombone, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, chamber orchestra, traditional Japanese instruments, and two for piano (one for the left hand only and one for both hands), a number of sonatas, and various shorter pieces for ensembles of various sizes.

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