Spinnfaden 3 - © Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk
„The discovery of the operetta was akin to a culture shock for me.“
Here you can download the following files: Vita – Catalogue of worksPhotos


Miso Soup and Pumpernickel

My compositions are riddled with the traces of Japanese culture. But they are often encapsulated in European musical language – a result of the symbiosis that I constantly find myself engaged in, more or less unconsciously. That everyday symbiosis between me and the outside word, symbolized through miso soup and pumpernickel, is the primal source of my composition. Music scholar Imke Misch is publishing the cooking recipes of my work in the magazine Neue Zeitschrift für Musik: preparation to taste. I admire how she peered all through my kitchen with her x-ray eyes.

Imke Misch: Neue Zeitschrift für Musik #6_2018, Seiten 26/29, Verlag Schott
Misosuppe und Schwarzbrot zur Kompositorischen Positions-Bestimmung von Mayako Kubo


„Finally a playable, exciting new opera. That’s because of the obvious ‚theatrical sleight of hand’ of the composer.“

Die Presse, Vienna



„Full of fantasy and sensitive sound, with a loose and impulsive rhythmic-melodic verve.“

Frankfurter Rundschau


„The Kobe-born and Berlin-based composer has recently moved to the southern neighborhood of Neukoelln. This area of the city is marked by its strong immigrant population with a high rate of unemployment and criminality. Even a film has been made about this. For children of immigrants, Berlin has artistic aid programs. That is how the composer met the music teacher of an unruly school and the result was a youth opera: Der Spinnfaden (The Spinning Thread). The story about Buddha and the condemned in hell seemed more attractive than a Christian topic, especially for youngsters of Islamic background.“

Sankei Shimbun



Audio example „Der Spinnfaden" act 2, scene 1

performed by Ensemble Experimente, Choir of the Ernst-Abbe-Gymnasium, conducted by Gerhard Scherer | recording of the world premiere | 2010


„Mayako Kubo has written gripping music. In order to generate tension, the orchestra pulsates equably in the pianissimo; loud percussion-discharges, accords that make you grind your teeth, glissandi up or down translate the theatrical situation directly in musical gestures. In the tumultuous finale, Kubo lets the percussionist lose, thundering in the foyer, closes in on the audience and involves them.“

DIE ZEIT - Hamburg


„The rape scene was played as an intermezzo by the orchestra – an excellent idea. What was also surprising, was the epilogue. Two accused appeared on stage in modern dress. The thief reaffirmed his love. At the same time, the young woman raised the knife. Then the curtain fell.“

Asahi Shimbun

„Despite the complicated technical procedure, there is an almost embarassing tenderness shining through.“

Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin



Audio example „Memoria Perpetua III“

interpreted by Sayaka Yonekawa

„The composer knows how to write dramatically. The music is airy; the singing voices are led very expressively in large sound steps and extreme highs and lows, but never ‚offended’ or even ‚raped’.“

Neue Zürcher Zeitung


„The talent of the composer is heard everywhere.“

Nippon Keizai Shimbun


Talking about  „Atem Pause“

Portrait: „Terzen und Babygeschrei“ | Author: Wolfgang Sparrer |
Production: BR | 2010

Video "Margeriten Weiss in Flaschenbegleitung"
Scenic music for Soprano, Bass and Percussion, inspired by a poem of Ruth Weiss.
Recording of the world premiere in Vienna, 2004. Sop.: Eiko Morikawa, Perc.: Lukas Knöfler, Kb.: Achim Tang. ORF-CD 376

„Mayako Kubo impresses through artifical sovereignty, which is void of any kind of elitist affectation.“

epd Protestant News Agency


„A delicate a-capella aria at the center of a new opera: A lack of daring will not be one of the things that can be attributed to Mayako Kubo.“




Audio example „Rashomon“ act 2, scene 1

performed by Eirian Davies , Grazer Philharmonisches Orchester, conducted by Stefan Lano | recording of the world premiere 1996 | CD ARIADNE AD 998001


„She does allow the state of emotional chaos. Composition as an expedition into the haphazard and unkown, far from aesthetic cleanliness and stylistic unity.“

Bayerischer Rundfunk

The most convincing piece [at this year’s Donaueschinger Musiktage] was the piano concerto of the Japanese composer Mayako Kubo.“

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung



Audio example „Klavierkonzert“

performed by Bernhard Wambach, Sinfonieorchester des Südwestfunks, conducted by Peter Eötvös | world premiere in Donaueschingen | 1986


„She belongs to the rare birds with humor in modern music.“

Schwäbische Zeitung


„In the meantime, the parents have been convinced that their daughter has talent.“

Darmstädter Echo


Video „Memoria Perpetua IV“
performed by Matthias Bauer. recording of the world premiere in Berlin, 2006
Free download © Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk