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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » A » Abe, Komei

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Komei Abe (1911 - 2006)

Komei Abe was born on 1 September 1911 in Hiroshima. He studied the cello with Heinrich Werkmeister (1883-1936) at the Tokyo Music School (today's Music Department of Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music), at the time the best facilities in Japan for studying Western music. Abe formed a chamber ensemble and worked on Beethoven's music in particular.

Abe played in the Music School's orchestra under conductor/composer Klaus Pringsheim who he admired. Pringsheim, appointed professor at the Tokyo Music School in 1931, had been a pupil of Gustav Mahler and had conducted operas in Geneva, Prague and Bremen in the 1910s, and a cycle of Mahler's symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonic. Abe began to study German-style harmony and counterpoint with him, and decided he wanted to become a composer, not a cellist. Abe was strongly influenced by this teacher's view and knowledge of the late romanticism period represented by Mahler and Richard Strauss, and neo-classicism by Hindemith and Kurt Weill.


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