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Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto dies

Jury Press Conference, Berlinale 2018
Ryuichi Sakamoto

Composer/musician Ryuichi Sakamoto has died.

On Sunday, a representative for Avex Entertainment announced that the Japanese music star had passed away on 28 March following a battle with cancer. He was 71.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of artist and musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto,” they wrote in a statement. “While undergoing treatment for cancer discovered in June 2020, Sakamoto continued to create works in his home studio whenever his health would allow. He lived with music until the very end. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to his fans and all those who have supported his activities, as well as the medical professionals in Japan and the U.S. who did everything in their power to cure him.”

As per Sakamoto’s wishes, a funeral service has already been held “among his close family members”.

To conclude the message, the spokesperson added: “Finally, we would like to share one of Sakamoto’s favourite quotes: “Ars longa, vita brevis. Art is long, life is short.”

In 2021, Sakamoto shared that he had been diagnosed with rectal cancer and was undergoing treatment.

The Tokyo native first rose to prominence as a member of the Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) alongside Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi, with the trio pioneering and influencing a variety of electronic music genres.

Later, he became known for composing the score and co-writing the song Forbidden Colours for 1983’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and also won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for 1987’s The Last Emperor with David Byrne and Cong Su.

More recently, Sakamoto garnered praise for composing scores for 1993’s Little Buddha and 2015’s The Revenant.

– Cover Media