Japanese composer and conductor Yuzo Toyama was born in Tokyo on 10 May 1931. He studied composition with Hindemith pupil Kanichi Shimofusa and conducting with Wilhelm Loibner and Kurt Wöss.
His compositions were influenced by folk melodies and by the works of Bartók and Shostakovich. He's best known for his Japanese folk song-based Rhapsody for Orchestra but his output includes many other orchestral works.
He worked as a conductor with various orchestras in Japan, including the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
He was also a TV personality in Japan, and hosted various programmes. He was interested in politics and society, and made a choral setting of article 9 of the Constitution of Japan.
Yuzo Toyama fell ill while conducting an orchestral performance at the end of May 2023, and he died from chronic kidney disease at his home in Nagano Prefecture on 11 July 2023, aged ninety-two.