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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 February 2006, 13:19 GMT
Japanese Godzilla composer dies
Akira Ifukube
Akira Ifukube worked in forestry before becoming a composer
Japanese musician Akira Ifukube, who composed the music to the Godzilla films, has died at the age of 91.

He wrote the theme to the original 1954 Godzilla movie, known in Japan in Gojira, which was used in a number of films about the sci-fi creature.

He received a Person of Cultural Merit award in 2003, considered one of Japan's highest honours.

The Tokyo College of Music, where he was once president, said Ifukube died of multiple organ failure on Wednesday.

As well as being behind the Godzilla score, Ifukube also produced more than 300 musical pieces during his career.

Born in 1914 in the northern island of Hokkaido, Ifukube taught himself music as a teenager.

He worked as a forestry officer during World War II, and wrote classical music as a sideline.

Godzilla
Godzilla first appeared on film in 1954

His first musical accolade came when he won a contest promoted by Russian composer Alexander Nikolayevich Tcherepnin in 1935 with his piece Japanese Rhapsody.

He left the forestry department after the war to work as a music instructor.

Between 1946 and 1953 he worked at the now Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

He was then called upon to create the score for Godzilla, directed by Ishiro Honda and produced by Toho Studios.

The sci-fi creature went on to star in more than 27 feature films with the original score sometimes reappearing.

In the 1990s a set of CDs was released featuring Ifukube compositions played by a younger generation of musicians.


SEE ALSO:
Godzilla's 50 years of film terror
29 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Godzilla gets Hollywood fame star
30 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Godzilla rises for the final time
29 Nov 04 |  Entertainment



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