Coaches 2025

Misato Mochizuki

Composition, Coach

Born in 1969 in Tokyo, Misato Mochizuki is amongst those composers who are equally active in Europe, North America and in Japan. After receiving a Masters degree in composition at the Tokyo University of the Arts in Tokyo, she was awarded first prize for composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de 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 exciting rhythms and unusual sounds of great formal and stylistic freedom. Her catalogue of works (published by Breitkopf & Härtel) consists of about 60 works today, including 17 symphonic compositions and 15 pieces for ensemble. Her works, which have been performed at international festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, the Biennale di Venezia, Lincoln Centre Festival, Music days in Donaueschingen, Berlin, Witten, Cologne, Lyon, Zurich, Toronto and so on, have received numerous awards, such as the audience prize at the Festival Ars Musica in Brussels for "Chimera" in 2002, the Japanese State Prize for the greatest young artistic talent in 2003, the Otaka Prize for the best symphonic world premiere in Japan in 2005 (for "Cloud nine"), the Grand Prize of the Tribune internationale des compositeurs in 2008 (for "L'heure bleue"), and the Heidelberg Women Artists' Prize in 2010. Her most outstanding productions include the orchestral portrait concert at Suntory Hall in Tokyo (2007 and 2019), 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 concerts at the Festival d'Automne in Paris, Muziekgebouw aan't IJ in Amsterdam (2010) or at Miller Theatre in New York (Columbia University, 2017).

Between 2011 and 2013 Misato Mochizuki was composer-in-residence at the Festival international de musique de Besançon and did lots of workshops and conferences as well as jury work for the renowned young conductors' competition, for which she wrote a symphonic piece ("Musubi II") for finalists. 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, in Paris (at ManiFeste, at Collège de France), in Barcelona (Mixtur and ESMUC), at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Columbia University and Tokyo University of the Arts (guest professor since 2021). From September 2024 to July 2025 she will be a resident at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
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. In addition, Misato Mochizuki writes about music and culture in her own column every three months for the "Yomiuri Shimbun" (2008-2015), every week for the "Nihon Keizai Shimbun" (January to June 2018), most widely read daily newspapers in Japan. In November 2019, some of these writings are published as a book ("The composer's reflection on music and daily life", in Japanese, Kairyusha).