Kiyonori Sokabe (trumpet)

Born in Ehime Pref. in 1952, Kiyonori Sokabe is a graduate of the Instrumental Music Department of the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music. He studied trumpet under Fujio Nakayama and Genzo Kitamura. After graduation, Sokabe joined in the founding of the "Ueno no Mori" Brass ensemble and has continued to serve as its concert master for more than twenty years. During this time he has made two overseas tours, released four CD's and has continued concert performances within Japan at a rate of more than 50 a year.

Highly acclaimed in Japan as a specialist in the performance of contemporary music. Sokabe was also a central member of the world-renowned composer Jo Kondo's Musica Practica Ensemble and during the ten year before its dissolution, gave many premiere performances of new compositions both domestically and overseas.

In recent year Sokabe has also performed actively as a soloist, winning acclaim for his performances not only of the Haydn and Hummel concertos with orchestras in the Tokyo area but also for works by composers like J.D. Leopold Mozart and Andre Jolivet. In 1994, he was soloist for the performance of Ken Ito' Festina Lente 'with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra at one of its regular concerts. Also, he gave the world's first performance of a new work
by Michael Lyman at the Tokyo Summer Festival. Sokabe has also performed at the Hokutopia International Music Festivals of 1995 and '98.

Sokabe became the first Japanese trumpet player to give a series of concerts consisting solely of contemporary pieces, including as its venues Osaka in December of 1994 and Tokyo in January of 1996 and May of 1997, which were very well received and covered in such music publications as Ongaku no Tomo, Ongaku Geijutsu, Ongaku Gendai, Band Journal and Pipers.

Wishing to generate music from his native Ehime Prefecture, Sokabe has held recitals there every summer since 1996, from which numerous new pieces have emerged.

Sokabe has also been active in the creation of new instruments and mutes (which he calls Sound Transformers (STF)), with the slide-fitted Zephyros trumpet he originally proposed now stimulating a large number of composers
to write many pieces specifically for this new type of trumpet. Furthermore, Sokabe is ambitiously pursuing the creation of new music utilizing computers.

In June of 1999, Sokabe released a CD from Kojima Recordings titled ''Till Now and From Now On........''(ALCD-50) made up completely of pieces by Japanese composers. And in June of 2000, he released a CD titled ''limpid solitude''(ALCD-55) all played by himself.

Sokabe can surely be said to be the most active trumpet soloist in Japan today (contemporary music), creating music aimed at the entire music world.

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