News Release

  • No.sfa0042(2020/8/31)

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The 30th Yasushi Akutagawa Suntory Award for Music Composition
Kenta Onoda’s Singable LoveⅡ – feat. Magicicada for Orchestra

The concert to publicly select the winner of the 30th Yasushi Akutagawa Suntory Award for Music Composition (formerly, Akutagawa Award for Music Composition) was held at Suntory Hall in Tokyo on Saturday, August 29 at 3pm. The winning composition was Kenta Onoda’s Singable Love Ⅱ – feat. Magicicada for Orchestra. He received both an award certificate and cash prize of 1.5 million yen.

Additionally, Lumière indomptable, for Orchestra, a work by the 28th award winner Naoki Sakata commissioned by the Suntory Foundation for the Arts to commemorate its anniversary, had its world premiered on the same day prior to the public concert.

The Yasushi Akutagawa Suntory Award for Music Composition was established by the Suntory Music Foundation (now the Suntory Foundation for the Arts) in April 1990 with the support of the Japan Federation of Composers, and celebrates the achievements of Yasushi Akutagawa (1925-1989), one of the leading Japanese composers of the post-war era. In fond remembrance of the late composer's love of music, his lucid views on music and the passion that he brought to the promotion of music, this composition prize, which was the first of its kind in Japan, is a unique initiative aimed at up-and-coming composers creating orchestral works full of freshness and steeped in potential, with winners selected from among pieces premiered at public concerts. This is a compound award, as composers winning the prize also receive a commission for a new orchestral work, with the premiered performance held two years thereafter.

Last year, 2019, marked the 50th anniversary of the founding in 1969 of the parent organization of the Suntory Foundation for the Arts, the Torii Music Foundation, and also a change in the name to “the Yasushi Akutagawa Suntory Award for Music Composition,” to make the spirit of the award clearer. At the same time, the prize-money was increased to ¥1,500,000. Going forward we will continue to support the young composers of Japan as they emerge onto a wider stage.


▽The 30th Yasushi Akutagawa Suntory Award for Music Composition
Kenta Onoda’s Work
Singable Love Ⅱ – feat. Magicicada for Orchestra

▽Reason for the award
The work was highly regarded for making its unique concept to a compelling acoustic and structured work by using distinctive piano passages throughout.

▽Biography
Kenta Onoda was born in Fukui on August 13, 1996. He was a finalist at the 86th Music Competition of Japan in 2017, and in 2018 was awarded a scholarship by the Meiji Yasuda Cultural Foundation. He has studied composition with Chiharu Wakabayashi and Jummei Suzuki. He graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts and was awarded the Acanthus Music Prize upon graduation. He is currently studying in the master’s course at Tokyo University of the Arts.

▽ Selection process
1. On Thursday, March 5, 2020, at ANA InterContinental Tokyo, the three members of the selection committee, after careful consideration, came to a decision on the three nominated works. These were chosen from among orchestral pieces created by Japanese composers that were first performed in Japan or abroad during the period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, based on the music score and the recording of the first performance. The three members of the selection committee were Tomoko Fukui, Hitomi Kaneko and Misato Mochizuki. (In alphabetical order)

Yujiro Ariyoshi:Merry Go Round / Orchestral Circuit for Orchestra(2019)
Premiered “The 11th Morning Concert in 2019” on Sep.5, 2019
at Tokyo University of the Arts, Sogakudo Concert Hall

Kenta Onoda:Singable Love Ⅱ – feat.Magicicada for Orchestra(2018-19)
Premiered “The Geidai Philharmonia Orchestra Subscription Concert for introducing New Graduates” on Apr.19, 2019
at Tokyo University of the Arts, Sogakudo Concert Hall

Noeru Hiyamizu:Not Found for Orchestra(2018-19)
Premiered “The 3rd Morning Concert in 2019” on May 16, 2019
at Tokyo University of the Arts, Sogakudo Concert Hall
(In alphabetical order)

2. At Suntory Hall Main Hall on Saturday, August 29, 2020, the above three compositions were performed publicly by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ryusuke Numajiri. Following the concert, on the stage, the three jury members—Hitomi Kaneko, Tomoko Fukui, and Misato Mochizuki—discussed the compositions publicly (moderated by Seiji Choki) and chose Kenta Onoda’s composition Singable Love Ⅱ – feat. Magicicada for Orchestra as the winner of the 30th Yasushi Akutagawa Suntory Award for Music Composition.

3. At the award ceremony held on the stage immediately following the public selection, Suntory Foundation for the Arts Director General Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi delivered the award certificate and cash prize (1.5 million yen).
The Suntory Foundation for the Arts will also commission a new orchestral work to Kenta Onoda which, upon completion, will have its premiered performance at a concert sponsored by the foundation. (Commission fee: One million yen)

See here for more on the Akutagawa Yasushi Suntory Award for Music Composition
See here about the Suntory Foundation for the Arts

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