Chikage Imai was born in Nagoya (Japan) and studied with Akihiko Matsui at Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. She met and was inspired by Joji Yuasa – a notable Japanese composer – at Composium 2002 and he became familiar with her music at the Akiyoshidai summer seminar that same year, since which he has been her mentor. Moving to Europe in 2003, Imai continued to study composition with Wim Henderickx and Fabio Nieder at Conservatorium van Amsterdam where she received her bachelor and master’s diplomas, supported by Rohm Music foundation


   Imai’s musical activity has been broadened internationally through her first successful chamber ensemble piece Vectorial Projection I – bouncing ball (2006). The piece was premiered by Nieuw Ensemble under Lucas Vis and performed again in Gaudeamus muzikweek, the work was also awarded an honorable mention by the 28th Irino Prize for Chamber Music. In 2008 Vectorial Projection IV – fireworks was commissioned by Festival d’Automne á Paris and premiered by Irvine Arditti and Nieuw Ensemble under Yoichi Sugiyama. Verbarizing (2009) was composed for Ayako Okubo’s concert by Hanatsu mirior.  Simulgenesis (2009) was written for the 4th International Composition Seminar of the International Ensemble Modern Academy and this piece led Westdeutschen Rundfunks to commission Imai to write a piece for Ensemble Modern. The piece, Morphing - state of matter (2011) was premiered by the ensemble under Johannes Kalitzke at Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik and broadcasted on WDR3 program. In 2012 towards  G (2012) was commissioned by  Music from

Photo by Morito Okada

Japan and the piece was premiered in New York, U.S.A. H into H written for horn and harpsichord received the an honorable mention by Prix Annalie de Man Prize. Arcs (2013) was written for a notable recorder player, Toshiya Suzuki’s recital. It was the first time that Imai composed for a Japanese traditional instrument, Shô and Koto in this piece. Futhermore she was invited for contemporary music workshops such as De Componist(NL), Ostrava Days (CZ), Akiyoshidai summer seminar(JP) and more.

  In 2013 Imai founded an organization “Seainx project” to introduce contemporary music in Nagoya, Japan. Since then she has been organizing lecture & concert “Crossboundary” featured only one instrument and invited Ernest Rombout, Nanae Yoshimura and so on. For this concert series she write small pieces for each instrument and they became her miniature composition series.

  She is involved in projects working on with other artists and art forms, including visual art and stage design, among others. One of her biggest cross media art work Synecdochism I <impulse> (2008), premiered by Duo Miako Klein & Sava Stoiano in Suite Muziekweek, is concerned an idea “breathing” in a manner of Japanese traditional cultures to think about “perception”. This experiment brought out Synecdochism II <continuity> (2016) which is based on the idea of Noh theatre and premiered in Aichi triennale 2016. 


 Imai’s music is published Muzikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm and Ensemble Modern Media. Through being an honorary research associate at Royal Holloway, University of London, she is currently an artistic director of Seainx project.

Curriculum Vitae

Born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1979



2013   Georges Aperghis, Clemens Gadenstätter and Peter Ablinger’s composition courses and lectures at impuls 2013 in Graz, 


2009   Rebecca Saunders, Richard Ayres, Bernhard Lang, and Christian Wolff’s composition courses and workshops at Ostrava 

           Days in Ostrava, Czech

           Aquired Master diploma at Conservatorium van Amsterdam

2007   A few composition lessons from Beat Furrer in Frankfurt, Germany

2006   Aquired Bachelor diploma at Conservatorium van Amsterdam

2002   Mentored by Joji Yuasa (-current)

           Joji Yuasa’s composition courses and workshops at Akiyoshidai summer seminar of contemporary music (-2005, 2008)

           Enrolled to the below mentioned university as a researcher for a year

           Aquired the Bachelor degree at Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music




2013   Seainx project, Representive

2012   HAL College of Technology ad Design, Lector (- 2013)

2009   Honorary Research Associate in composition at Royal Holloway, University of London, Honorary Research Associate




2012   Honorable mention of the Prix Annelie de Man Prize

2007   Honorable mention of the 28th Irino Prize for Chamber music

2001   The prize of the Aichi Prefectural Student Competition of Composition




2010   The Asahi Shimbun Foundation (for research in Europe)

2009   Wet werk en inkomen kunstenaars (the Artist’s Income Support), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2008   Rohm Music Foundation (for commission fee of Festival d’Automne)

2005   Rohm Music Foundation, Kyoto, Japan (-2009) (for study at Conservatorium van Amsterdam)



Professional experience


2011   Lecture at 2nd LLD at Sugiya Jogakuen University, Nagoya, Japan Design in Music - image of sound

2010   Talk and concert at Noh × Contemporary Music

2008   International Composition Seminar of International Ensemble Modern Academy 08/09





2014   “Traveling pieces” portrait CD of Saar Berger

2012   “Music for Daydreams” CD of Ken Ishii

2009   “Люлка ( lijlka )” portrait CD of Sava Stoianov

2006   “TRISHADE” portrait CD of Chikage Imai

2005   “Una voce poco fa” CD of Alliage Saxophone Quartet and Jang Eun Bae


Book & Magazine

2011   Article about Joji Yuasa, “Signpost of my music” by Chikage Imai on Kozui

2009   Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic by Rozalie Hirs, Bob Gilmore



2011   Interview about Canal Art 2011 on The Asahi Shimbun (朝日新聞社), October 27 2011 → Inerview about canal art 2011.pdf



2013   Toshiya Suzuki Recorder Recital in Shinokubi, Tokyo, Japan


2012   November Music in Den Bosch, The Netherlands

           Joji Yuasa ou la poétique des formes - Concert by French artist group "HANATSUmiroir" in Strasbourg, France

   Music from Japan Festival at Merkin concert hall in New York, United States of America

2011   Dounji (temple) Concert

           Nakagawa Canal Art Project One in Nagoya, Japan (中川運河キャナルアート2011 Project One)

           Takefu International Music Festival

           Lucern Festival

           Ensemble Modern’s regular concert at Alter Oper in Frankfurt, Germany

           Wittener Tagen für Neue Kammermusik 2011 in Witten, Germany

           Podiumkunst voor Onaalledaagse Kamermuziek (concert of Marieke Franssen) at De Link in Tilburg, The Netherlands

2010   Akari Night - Akari Festival in Nagoya, Japan

           Noh x Contemporary Music / vol.2 talk & concert Chikage Imai

           Tokyo Sinfonietta the 28th Subscription Concert “Joji Yuasa” in Tokyo Japan

           ZWEI Instrument in Frankfurt, Germany

           Podiumkunst voor Onaalledaagse Kamermuziek (concert of Sax&Stix) at De Link in Tilburg, The Netherlands

           Nakagawa Canal Art Project Zero in Nagoya, Japan (中川運河キャナルアート2010 Project Zero)

2009   Concert from a French artist group Hanatsu ~mirior vol.1~ in Tokyo, Japan

           Concert from a French artist group Hanatsu ~mirior vol.1~ in Strasbourg, France

           Ostrava Days 2009 in Ostrava, Czech republic

           Finale Concert Internationaal Kamermuziek Concours in Almere, The Netherlands

           “Japanese Mix”, a concert of Sax&Stix in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

           The 4th International Composition Seminar of the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Frankufurt and Munich, Germany

2008   Klangwerktage 2008 in Hamburg, Germany

           Suite Muziekweek 2008 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

           Festival d'Automne à Paris 2008 in Paris, France

           "Componist van de week" by a Dutch Radio 4 programma in The Netherlands

           Dark Musie Days 2008 in Reykjavík, Iceland

2007   Concert of Miako Klein and Sava Stoianov in Lindow, Germany

           Sibelius Akademian Konsettisalissa 2007 in Helsinki, Finland

2006   Gaudeamus music festival 2006 at Muziekgebouw aan't IJ in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

           Project Open Music at Paradiso in Amsterdam

           Portrait concert "Scharnieren -music and art space-" at De Ijsbreker in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2005   Project, Echo studio "Buriccha" in Japan, music for the illustrations for children

           Project, Composer exchange Amsterdam-Berlin from a composer group, Klangnetz and Adapter ensemble in Berlin, Germany

2004   Project, Collaboration of Young Japanese Artist at Overtoom 301 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

           Project, Opera uit het Hart from Stichting Yo! in Utrecht, The Netherlands

2003   The 3rd concert of CHAM in Nagakute, Aichi, Japan

2002   The 2nd concert of CHAM with a commission by the hall of Nagakute, Aichi, Japan

2001   The 1st concert of CHAM at the town of Nagakute, Aichi, Japan

           Formed the composer group, CHAM with composer friends from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music




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