Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto was born on January 17, 1952 in Tokyo, Japan. As a child, he became a fan of English rock (the first record he bought was “Tell Me” by the Rolling Stones) and French Impressionistic music, Debussy in particular. At age 11, he began studying music under Professor Matsumoto at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He then received a BA in Composition and MA with a concentration in electronic and ethnic music. In 1977, he began working as a composer, arranger, and studio musician with many of Japan’s most popular musicians. In 1978, he formed Yellow Magic Orchestra with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi. The group became an international sensation and helped pioneer electropop. Sakamoto is known for crossing musical and technological boundaries in his compositions for his solo albums, work for Yellow Magic Orchestra, and soundtracks. He has recorded numerous albums since 1978 and received many awards, included the Golden Pine Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Samovar Film Music Festival in 2013. He was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer in June 2014, but has since returned to work.

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Ryuichi Sakamoto is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Stephan Breuer

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