A Japanese composer born August 6, 1977 in Osaka (Japan).
A pianist by training, Kenji Sakai studied composition at the University for Music and the Fine Arts of Kyoto then at the Paris Conservatory, notably in the classes of Frédéric Durieux, Allain Gaussin, Marco Stroppa and Luis Naon. He completed his training at the Haute École de Musique in Geneva with Michael Jarrell and Ircam.
In residence at the Casa de Velázquez (2012-2013) and at the Villa Medici (2015-2016), he was subsequently composer in residence with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra (2017-2020).
Sakai has developed an intense examination of the integration of the instrument and technology. His music, characterised by clarity and luminosity, has developed a personal style that unabashedly includes a certain form of lightness.
He composes for all groupings, with or without electronics, from solo instrumentalist to orchestra and to chorus: Astral/Chromoprojection for percussion, instrumental ensemble and electronics, premiered by the Ensemble Intercontemporain (2009); Nebulous Nix for orchestra, premiered by the Orchestre Symphonique de Lucerne conducted by Jonathan Nott (2011); Fog and Bubbles for ensemble and electronics, first performed by the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain conducted by Daniel Kawka (2012); Whiteout for orchestra, premiered by the NHK Symphony Orchestra at Tokyo Opera City (2013); Je est un autre II for mixed chorus, first performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus in Osaka (2013); Blackout for orchestra, first performed by the Orchestre National de Lyon conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer at Musiques en Scène in Lyons in 2014; Photons for saxophone and ensemble, premiered by Masanori Oishi and the ensembles Proxima Centauri and Linea in Strasburg (2015); Whirling, trio for flute, clarinet and percussion, first performed by Hanatsu-miroir at the Venice Biennial (2017).