[Takemitsu, Toru. (1930–1996)] Zukofsky, Paul. (1943–2017)

Group of Letters to Paul Zukofsky

Four letters exchanged between the Japanese composer and American violinist Paul Zukofsky in 1973–1974. Included are a typed letter signed from Zukofsky to Takemitsu, a typed letter signed from Takemitsu to Zukofsky, and two unsigned copies of typed letters from Zukofsky to Takemitsu. In the first letter (December 9, 1973; 1 p.), Zukofsky informs Takemitsu that he will be touring Hong Kong, and asks "if there is any possibility of my performing in Japan around that time." He goes on: "I hope that at some point you would seriously consider writing a violin piece—perhaps even a concerto?" In his next letter (February 27, 1974; 1 p.) Zukofsky writes: "There is a very strong probability that Carnegie Hall would like to present an evening at the Recital Hall devoted exclusively to your music [...] If you are interested could you tell me if you have any plans to be in this country next year..." and also repeats his question about a visit to Japan. Takemitsu responds (April 18, 1974; 1 p.): "...if you are able to come to Tokyo before going to Hongkong, it is considerably available to make concerts (once or twice) with Yuji's piano. [...] Perhaps I am going to Yale University from January 1–March 15, 1975 as a visiting professor so that I plan to drop in New York on the way back to Japan." Zukofsky replies (April 27, 1974; 1 p.) to confirm the dates and fees suggested for a tour, and asks: "What would you like for repertoire? Only American? Only 20th century? I should like to include some Japanese music but I know very little..." Varying sizes; one letter on an aerogramme with some small tears; further airmail envelope also included. Overall in fine condition. Scarce!

American violinist and conductor Paul Zukofsky was known for his work in the field of contemporary music. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Zukofsky was the only child of the American Objectivist poet Louis Zukofsky and Celia Thaew Zukofsky, a musician and composer. He began performing at an early age and was soon drawn to modern music, especially to the possibilities of extended techniques on the violin. Over the course of his career, he collaborated with composers including  Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Peter Mennin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Roger Sessions, Charles Wuorinen, and Iannis Xenakis. He gave world premieres of concertos by Robert Sessions (for violin, cello and orchestra), Charles Wuorinen (for amplified violin and orchestra), Morton Feldman (for violin and orchestra), Phillip Glass, and the Scottish composer Iain Hamilton, among others. (17509)

Classical Music
Autograph Letter