Takehisa Kosugi

Takehisa Kosugi was an avant-garde composer and musician who performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for decades and was its music director from 1995 to 2012. Kosugi was born in Tokyo and studied music there, co-founding an improvisational music ensemble while still a student. After moving to the U.S. in the 1960s, he became affiliated with the Fluxus movement, and presented performance-based works with assistance from two artists who would become well-known in their own right: Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman. He was heavily influenced by John Cage, and it was together with Cage and two other musicians that he first performed at Jacob’s Pillow in 1984, providing the music for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Three years later, he composed and performed the score for a Pillow-commissioned premiere by Cunningham entitled Carousal, and he returned to the Pillow for four more engagements by the Cunningham company through 2003. His work was the subject of a retrospective exhibit at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art in 2015 entitled Takehisa Kosugi: Music Expanded. He died in Japan in October 2018 at the age of 80.
Source of Biography
Written by Norton Owen for Jacob's Pillow Remembers.
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