The Japanese composer and concert pianist, Ichiro Nodaira [Nodaïra], graduated in composition from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. In 1978, he went to Paris on a French government scholarship to continue his studies at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he received a Premier Prix in composition, piano accompaniment, and musical analysis. He studied composition with Michio Mamiya, Besty Jolas, and Serge Nigg, and piano and accompaniment with Yosie Kôra and Henriette Puig-Roget. He also studied in summer courses at Darmstad, Aix-en-provence, and Siena with Brian Ferneyhough, Gyorge Ligeti, Franco Donatoni, and studied electronic music and computer music at Ensemble Itineraire and IRCAM (Pompidou Center) in Paris.
To date, Ichiro Nodaira has composed over sixty works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, and solo instruments commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture, IRCAM, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Deutche Simfonie Orchester of Berlin, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, the Spanish Ministry of Culture (CDMC), NHK, the National Theatre of Japan, the Akiyoshidai Music festival, and other Japanese and French institutions. Recently, he composed Piano Concerto premiered by the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra in June 2003, Outdoors for viola premiered by Nobuko Imai in Concertgebouw of Amsterdam in September 2003, Texture du Delire IV for violoncello and piano premiered by Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi in Tokyo in November 2003, Memory of Beethoven, a long piece of 45 minutes for piano and real time computer, premiered in Osaka by the composer himself in December 2003, and Winter quartet for piano and string trio commissioned by the New York festival, Music from Japan, in February 2004. This festival also featured a retrospective of his chamber music works. In the USA, his arrangement for orchestra of J.S. Bach's The Art of fugue (BWV 1080) was played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in April 2004, and by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in March 2005. He composed his first opera “Madrugada” (with a libretto by Barry Gifford based on an idea by Toru Takemitsu), that was first performed in August 2005 under the baton of Kent Nagano at the Schleswig Holstein Festival in Germany. His works are published by Editions Henry Lemoine (Paris) and Editions Zen-On (Tokyo).
Ichiro Nodaira has performed as a soloist with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Itineraire, Ensemble 2E2M,and the Moscow Chamber Ensemble, under the baton of conductors such as Peter Etovos, Arturs Tamayo, Marius Constant, Paul Mefano, Kazushi Ono, and as accompanist with Michel Debost, Alain Marion, Gerard Poulet, Pierre-Yves Artaud, Nobuko Imai, Kyoko Takezawa, and other eminent artists. He performed the world premiere of Phillipe Manoury’s Pluton, his Passacaille pour Tokyo, and George Benjamin’s Antara. He also performed the Japanese premiere of Ligeti’s Piano Concerto, as well as a lot of works of a new generation of European composers like Murail, Manoury, Benjamin, Durieux, and Stroppa. In 1994 he organized Tokyo Sinfonietta, a chamber orchestra specializing in contemporary music, and served as its first musical director from 1994 and 1999. During this period, Tokyo Sinfonietta presented approximately twenty world premieresand one hundred Japanese premieres. He has released over forty CDs, including the complete piano works of Toru Takemitsu and Joji Yuasa. He has released also the complete piano sonatas of L.v. Beethoven.
Ichiro Nodaira has received many prizes: the Takei award (1990) for best guitar piece - Arabesque IV, the 13th Kenzo Nakajima Award (1995), the 44th Otaka Award (1995) for the best orchestral piece - Chamber Concerto No. 1, the 46th Education Minister’s Art Encouragement Prize for Freshmen (1996) for his piano performances, and the 11th Kyoto Music Award (1996). In June 2004 he received the 35th Suntory Musical Award from the Suntory Music Foundation for the totality of his activities. This prize is the most highly recognized in Japanese musical scene. Recently, he received the 55th Art Encouragement Prize offered by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Japan.
Ichiro Nodaira has been an assistant professor at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (1990-2002). He was invited to be a jury member for the international Society for Contemporary Music’s “World Music Days” in 1989 and 2001 and the international piano competition in Hamamatsu in 2000.