Orchestra & Chorus of the Tokyo Academy of Music, Tokyo, c. 1910.

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“[The Nippon Ongaku-Kwai, lit. ‘Japan University of Music’] gave a very successful concert in the New Music Hall at Uyeno on Saturday last. The audience was large; it included the German, Austrian, and American Ministers. The Army and Naval bands played some excellent music. Mrs Tietze sang three solos with her usual skill.

“But perhaps the event of the evening was the rendering of ‘A Song without Words’ by the violin lady students of the Tokyo Academy of Music, which took everybody by surprise. They excelled themselves in this piece and, to the cant [oft-repeated] phrase, they brought the house down.”

The Japan Daily Mail, June 28, 1890

Orchestra & Chorus, Tokyo Academy of Music, c. 1910.

Orchestra & Chorus, Tokyo Academy of Music, c. 1910. Professor August Junker, Director. Founded as a government school in 1877 as the “Institute of Music”, the Institute took the name “Academy of Music” in 1887. Its curriculum was focused primarily on teacher education.

“On 25 April 1920, the first full-scale concert of Western art music in Osaka took place. An initial article announcing this concert appeared on the front page of the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun of 4 April.

“The article bristles with the pleasure of announcing the concert by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Tokyo Academy of Music, the most prestigious music academy in the country.

“It is highly significant that the article was placed in the centre of the front page of the newspaper, alongside the most important news of the day, where it would make a strong impact on readers.”

Music, Modernity and Locality in Prewar Japan: Osaka and Beyond, edited by Alison Tokita & Hugh de Ferranti, 2016

Songs composed by students/teachers the Tokyo Academy of Music (1909-1942)

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