updated 14 November 2023
© DR Mayu Hirano

Mayu Hirano

Japanese composer born 21 December 1979 in Yokohama.

Mayu Hirano took up the violin at the age of two. She went on to study musicology with Genichi Tsuge, theory with Hinoharu Matsumoto and violin with Yoshio Unno at Tokyo Geidai University of the Arts. Over time, she taught herself the rudiments of composition, initially focusing on electronic music and later on instrumental repertoire. In 2003, she defended her thesis entitled “Physical Experiences and Repetitive Music” and graduated with a Master of Musicology. Starting in 2008, Hirano became interested in improvisation, and studied jazz violin improvisation with Dider Lockwood. Following her first formal study of composition with Luis-Fernando Rizo-Salom in 2009, she undertook further study with Jean-Luc Hervé and Yan Maresz at the Boulogne Conservatory (near Paris) starting in 2010 and graduating in 2013 (SACEM Prize 2012).

In 2013-14, she undertook the first year of the IRCAM Cursus (IRCAM’s composition and computer music course), during which she composed the work Instant Suspendu for accordion and electronics; this work became half of a musical diptych with Singularité for accordion, string quartet, electronics and video, composed in the second year of the Cursus. Both works explore our sensorial perception of time and the concepts of the “moment” and “suspended time,” creating the illusion of an eternal, infinite temporality by obscuring the listener’s sense of the present through the use of electronics.

Hirano is interested in perception, the evolutive nature of memory and phenomena associated with the thresholds of human perception. These themes are explored in Toucher (2018) for piano (commissioned by France Musique for the Création Mondiale radio show), a work which embodies her fascination with the physicality of, and the role of the body in, musical performance. She further explored these concepts in Skin Memory (2019) for string quartet and electronics, of which she stated: “By evoking the notion of touch, be it associated with skin, breath, or with transparency, as well as the weight of sound and light, I wanted to create an atmosphere of intimacy in which dreams and reality delicately reveal themselves like a prism appearing through the fog, subtly changing in aspect according to the angle at which it is viewed.”

Mayu Hirano has received commissions from prestigious institutions and festivals including Ars Musica, Radio France and the Art Zoyd studio. Her works have been performed by ensembles such as Court-Circuit, Talea and the Tana Quartet. In 2022-23, her music will be performed by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, a commission from IRCAM/Centre Pompidou gave rise to Une Page Folle, a fixed-media work accompanying the silent Japanese film from 1926 of the same name, premiered at the Manifeste and Fontainebleau Festivals in collaboration with Les Cinémas de Beaubourg (Paris).

Since 2021, her works have been published by Universal Edition.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2021


Site de la compositrice, Festival Musica, Artzoydstudios.

  • Solo (excluding voice)
  • Chamber music
    • elec Skin Memory for string quartet and electronics (2019)
    • elec ircam stage Une Page Folle music for the film of the same name made in 1926 by Teinosuke Kunigasa (2021), 1 h 7 mn [program note]
  • Instrumental ensemble music
    • Prisma for orchestra (2014), 10 mn
    • Bloom for ensemble of seventeen musicians (2017)
  • Concertant music
    • elec ircam Ircam cursus Singularité for accordion, string quartet, electronics and video (2015)
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
    • Le Jet d'Eau for voice and piano (2022), 9 mn, Universal Edition
  • Electronic music / fixed media / mechanical musical instruments
    • elec Garden for electronics (2020)
  • Unspecified instrumentation
    • kiun no ma music for sound installation (2017), 5 mn


Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en novembre 2023).