Tōru Takemitsu (1930–1996) was a Japanese composer and writer on
aesthetics and music theory. Though largely self-taught, Takemitsu is
recognised for his skill in the subtle manipulation of instrumental and
orchestral timbre, drawing from a wide range of influences, including
jazz, popular music, avant-garde procedures and traditional Japanese
music, in a harmonic idiom largely derived from the music of Claude
Debussy and Olivier Messiaen. In 1958, he received international
attention for his Requiem for strings which resulted in several
commissions from across the world, and settled his reputation as the
leading Japanese composer of the 20th century. He was the recipient of
numerous awards, commissions and honours; he composed over 100 film
scores and about 130 concert works for ensembles of various sizes and
combinations. He also found time to write a detective novel and
appeared frequently on Japanese television as a celebrity chef. In the
foreword to a selection of Takemitsu's writings in English, conductor
Seiji Ozawa writes: "I am very proud of my friend Tōru Takemitsu. He is
the first Japanese composer to write for a world audience and achieve
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Hundred Years' War: Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen,
France, after being convicted of heresy in a politically motivated
The East Indiaman ship Arniston was wrecked during a storm at
Waenhuiskrans, near Cape Agulhas, present-day South Africa, with the
loss of 372 lives.
The Kansas–Nebraska Act became law, establishing the U.S. territories
of Nebraska and Kansas, repealing the 1920 Missouri Compromise, and
allowed settlers in those territories to determine if they would allow
slavery within their boundaries.
Buddhist crisis: A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination was held
outside South Vietnam's National Assembly, the first open demonstration
during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu announced the establishment of Biafra, a
secessionist state in southeastern Nigeria, an event that sparked the
Nigerian Civil War one week later.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(chiefly by a wife) To nag persistently
Wikiquote quote of the day:
When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much
happier if it is called "the People's Stick."
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