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Subject: Maki Ishii, 66, Composer

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Date Posted: April 11, 2003 3:59:21 EDT

Maki Ishii, a composer who fused Japanese and Western styles, died on Tuesday. He was 66.

The cause was thyroid cancer, his family said.

The third son of Baku Ishii, a pioneer of modern Japanese dance, Mr. Ishii studied composition and conducting in his hometown, Tokyo, and in Berlin during the 1950's and 1960's.

Among his best known compositions, both from the 1970's, are "So-gu," for shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute, and piano; and "Mono-Prism," which he wrote for Japanese taiko drums and a Western orchestra.

Mr. Ishii's two-act ballet, "Kaguyahime," was performed extensively in Japan, the Netherlands and France from 1988 to 1993.

In 1999 he produced an opera, "Tojirareta Fune."

He also conducted several orchestras, including the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Beijing and the New Japan Philharmonic.

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