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Yoshiaki OnishiPhoto ©David Adamcyk

Yoshiaki Onishi is a 2004 alumnus of the Pacific Conservatory of Music.

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Pacific News

Alumnus Yoshiaki Onishi Awarded Commission by Harvard's Fromm Music Foundation

Oct 24, 2018

Yoshiaki Onishi '04, Japanese-American composer, conductor, and recipient of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, has been recognized by Harvard University's Fromm Music Foundation as one of fourteen composers selected to receive 2018 Fromm commissions.

"These commissions represent one of the principal ways that the Fromm Music Foundation seeks to strengthen composition and to bring contemporary concert music closer to the public. In addition to the commissioning fee, a subsidy is available for the ensemble performing the premiere of the commissioned work," stated the official announcement from this prestigious Foundation, initiated 62 years ago by the patron of contemporary music, the late Paul Fromm.

"This commission will allow me to work, during this winter and most of next year, on a new piece for string quartet for Quatuor Diotima. I have known these extraordinary musicians since 2010, when I first met them in Takefu, Japan. I am very glad to have waited for the right moment to work with them in this capacity," commented Onishi.

Onishi studied music composition, clarinet and conducting at University of the Pacific, Conservatory of Music where he graduated in 2004 with the highest honor. He continued at Yale School of Music where he received the Artist Diploma (2008) and the Master of Music degrees (2007) in music composition. Onishi earned his doctorate in music composition from Columbia University in 2015.

In spring 2019, Onishi will return to Pacific to conduct 28/78, the Conservatory's student-led new music ensemble, in the premiere performance of yet another new composition. Onishi's return to Pacific is one of the highlights of the Conservatory's inaugural New Music Festival organized by current Powell Scholar Andrew Lu '19.

"Yoshi's ascent is a joy to witness. His Fromm commission, especially following his recent Guggenheim recognition, mark him as a composer-conductor on the rise," said Pacific's Conservatory Dean, Peter Witte. "We look forward to celebrating his accomplishments and learning with him when he returns to Pacific in 2019." 

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