Naomi Sekiya




Manzanar: An American Story (2005)

“…most of the music – intense, dramatic, masterfully colored, uncompromising – remains Sekiya’s.  She has spent the last season as composer in residence of the Berkeley Symphony, and she has clearly won admirers.  The premiere received a moving standing ovation.  The 2000-seat Zellerbach was sold out, and people were turned away.”

- Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times (May 29, 2005)


Manzanar: An American Story reached UCLA's Royce Hall on Thursday night. As was the case at its premiere in Berkeley last month, the place was sold out. …Manzanar has some highly effective, dramatically cogent music by Sekiya in its opening section, which deals with the first generation of Japanese immigrants to America.  She is a promising composer who came from Japan to study at USC and UCLA and now lives here. …Sekiya's sledgehammer-strong percussive attacks and bold abstract orchestral effects, which included use of a sho, a traditional Japanese reed instrument.”
- Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times (June 4, 2005)


“The music is a collaborative affair. … By far the most, and the best, of the music is the work of Naomi Sekiya, Japanese-born, USC-educated.  I heard her music first at Ojai a few years ago, where an excellent short orchestral work of hers won a young composer’s prize; I’ve encountered a few student works at USC, also with pleasure.  None of this prepared me for the power of her Manzanar score, however, which is big, raw, muscular and truly eloquent.  Remember the name, Naomi Sekiya; you’re going to hear it again.”

- Alan Rich, LA Weekly (June 4, 2005)



Sinfonia delle ombre (2001, rev. 2002)

“The evening’s ambitious work was Sinfonia delle ombre (Symphony of Shadows) by Naomi Sekiya, a doctoral student at USC who attracted attention two years ago when Simon Rattle conducted her impressive piano concerto, “Deluge,” at the Ojai Music Festival.  …The inspiration is Dante’s Inferno, and Sekiya’s grandly orchestrated score produced an inferno of atmosphere, with gripping instrumental effects that ranged from a fragile flute to massive orchestral explosions, viscerally weighed by the thudding bass drum.  It is a vast, bold world of sound that Sekiya conveys, as she becomes increasingly confident with each new piece.”                                                                       

- Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times (September 28, 2002)


“The writing, a fierce, high-impact brew driven by detonations from the brass and percussion, is skillful and thoroughly engaging -- particularly in the presence of a clear rhythmic profile underlying the densest and most colorful explosion.”                        

-Joshua Kosmann, San Francisco Chronicle (October 1, 2003)



Deluge (2000)

“A 10-minute piano concerto, Deluge by Naomi Sekiya, a Japanese-born doctoral student at USC, demonstrated a direct, lively new voice with a crowd-pleasing immediacy.”

- Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times



 Arachnid Dance for guitar and string quartet (1999, rev. 2002)

“…Naomi Sekiya’s nicely energetic Arachnid Dance for guitar and strings…”       

- Alan Rich, LA Weekly


“…Arachnid Dance is an extremely dynamic and difficult piece…”      

 - Shin-ichi Fukuda, Gendai Guitar

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