MISATO MOCHIZUKI, born in 1969 in Tokyo, is amongst those composers who are equally active in Europe and in Japan. After receiving a Masters degree in composition at the National University of Fine Arts and Music in Tokyo, she was awarded first prize for composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris in 1995, and then integrated the “Composition and Computer Music” program at IRCAM (1996–1997).
In her very own combination of Occidental tradition and the Asiatic sense of breathing, Misato Mochizuki’s style of writing developed magical rhythms and unusual sounds of great formal and stylistic freedom. Her catalogue of works (published by Breitkopf & Härtel) consists of about 40 works today, including 15 symphonic compositions and 12 pieces for ensemble. Her works, which have been performed at international festivals such as Salzburg Festival, Biennale di Venezia and La Folle Journée in Tokyo, have received numerous awards: Audience Prize at the Festival Ars Musica in Brussels for Chimera (2002), Japanese State Prize for the greatest young artistic talent (2003), Otaka Prize for the best symphonic world premiere in Japan for Cloud nine (2005), Grand Prize of the Tribune internationale des compositeurs for L’heure bleue (2008), Heidelberg Women Artists’ Prize (2010). Her most outstanding productions include the orchestral portrait concert at Suntory Hall in Tokyo (2007), the cinema concert at the Louvre with the music to the silent film Le fil blanc de la cascade by Kenji Mizoguchi (2007) and the portrait concert at the Festival d’Automne in Paris (2010).
Between 2011 and 2013 Misato Mochizuki was composer-in-residence at the Festival international de musique de Besançon. Since 2007 she has been professor of artistic disciplines at the Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, and has been invited to give composition courses in Darmstadt, in Royaumont, in Takefu, at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and so on. Within the framework of her activities, she continually reflects on the role of the composer in today’s society and on the necessity to open oneself to it. Misato Mochizuki writes about music and culture in her own column every three months for Yomiuri Shimbun, the most widely read daily newspaper in Japan.