Toru Takemitsu, nearly a decade after his death at 65, remains Japan’s best-known composer. His many concert pieces and more than 90 film scores echo Debussy, Messiaen, and Webern, as well as traditional Japanese music. But the largely self-taught Takemitsu maintained that his ultimate masters were Duke Ellington and nature.
Saturday night, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project presented a stirring tribute to Takemitsu, including two memorial pieces, one by up-and-coming Japanese-American composer Ken Ueno, the other by well-known, Chinese-born Tan Dun.
Takemitsu's sweet clash of cultures, shot through with silence, was engagingly embodied with gentle ferocity by Mitsuhashi, Tanaka, and the BMOP.