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Dai Fujikura

Lila (2015) for flute, bass flute and contrabass flute 

density 2036: part iii

Program Notes

Lila for flute, bass flute and contrabass flute (2015)

density 2036: part iii

This piece is based on the solo part of the flute concerto that I have also written for Claire Chase.

Lila, as well as the flute concerto, tells a story from the flute player's point of view, starting with a light poetic variety of sounds that are produced and related by the player's articulations, then dance like cascades. After that there is a sensual romantic melodic line with quarter tones, then a cadenza part with bass flute (or contrabass flute) overblowing, for which I wanted to make fast rhythmic music that I thought would be an opposite to the usual impression of what a low-range big flute, like contra or bass flute, does.

The title Lila means "play" in Sanskrit.

—Dai Fujikura


Born in 1977 in Osaka, Japan, Dai Fujikura was fifteen when he moved to the UK. The recipient of many composition prizes, he has received numerous international co-commissions from the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms, Bamberg Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and more. He has been Composer-in-Residence of Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014 and held the same post at the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France in 2017/18. Dai’s first opera, Solaris, co-commissioned by the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra de Lausanne and Opéra de Lille, had its world premiere in Paris in 2015 and has since gained a worldwide reputation. A new production of Solaris was created and performed at the Theatre Augsburg in 2018, and the opera received a subsequent staging in 2020.


In 2017, Dai received the Silver Lion Award from the Venice Biennale. In the same year, he was named the Artistic Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater’s Born Creative Festival. In 2019, his Shamisen Concerto was premiered at Mostly Mozart festival in New York Lincoln Center and there have so far been 9 performances of this work by various orchestras. 2020 saw the premiere of his fourth piano concerto, Akiko’s Piano, dedicated to Hiroshima Symphony's Peace and Music Ambassador, Martha Argerich and performed as part of their "Music for Peace" project. His third opera, A Dream of Armageddon, premiered in New National Theatre Tokyo in the same year.


His works are recorded by and released mainly on his own label Minabel Records in collaboration with SONY Music and his compositions are published by Ricordi Berlin.


Dai is currently focusing his attention on upcoming works including an opera on the life of Hokusai, a concerto for two orchestras, and a double concerto for flute and violin.

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