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Princess Knight, Kimba the White Lion Composer Isao Tomita Passes Away

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Pioneering synthesizer artist, frequent Osamu Tezuka collaborator was 84

Record company Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd. announced on Sunday that famed composer and synthesizer artist Isao Tomita passed away of chronic heart failure at Tokyo Metropolitan hiroo Hospital at 2:51 p.m. on Thursday. He was 84.

Tomita was born in 1932 and started his music career while in college at Keio University. In 1963 he composed the music for NHK's first "Taiga" historical drama Hana no Shōgai, and in 1965 he composed music for the Kimba the White Lion television anime series, based on Osamu Tezuka's manga. Tomita would then compose the music for many other of Tezuka and Mushi Production's anime, such as: Princess Knight, Dororo, Jungle Taitei Susume Leo!, the 1996 and the 1997 Jungle Emperor Leo films, New Treasure Island, Cleopatra, Nihon Tanjō, Mermaid, Senya Ichiya Monogatari, and Pictures at an Exhibition.

He also composed the soundtrack for Toei Animation's 1962 film Sindbad no Bōken and the 1965 film Gulliver's Space Travels: Beyond the Moon, as well as the 1964-1965 Big X television anime series. More recently he composed music for Black Jack: The Two Doctors Of Darkness, Dr. Pinoko no Mori no Bōken, and all three of Yoji Yamada's "Samurai Trilogy" films (Twilight Samurai, The Hidden Blade, Love and Honor).

In the 1970s Tomita was among the first to introduce the analogue synthesizer to Japan, and he was the first Japanese musician to be nominated for a Grammy Award in the U.S. He released the Symphony Ihatov album in 2013 that featured virtual idol Hatsune Miku as a soloist.

Tomita had collapsed in his home around noon on Thursday and was taken to the hospital. He passed away with his family at his side. Tomita's family held a private funeral on Saturday and Sunday, but a public farewell party is planned for a later date. At the time of his death he was preparing a new work titled Dr. Coppelius, which was slated for November.

Source and Image: Music Natalie

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