ABOUT KUNI MURAI
With writing credits for over 300 songs and 30 film scores, Kuni Murai is one of the world's preeminent modern composers. Born in Tokyo in 1945, at the crest of postwar Japan, Murai attended Keiō University, graduating and debuting as a composer in 1967. Over the next five decades, Murai would become synonymous with hits; most notably “Tsubasa Wo Kudasai” (Wings To Fly), a near-ubiquitous song published in school music books across Japan and covered by hundreds of artists around the world, and “Niji to yuki no barādo” (Ballad Of Rainbow And Snow), the latter the theme song for the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, as well as equally impressive scores for such films as Itami Jūzō's Tampopo.
Murai founded the music publishing company Alfa Music in 1969. He followed that highly successful venture with his own record company, Alfa Records, in 1977. As a producer, he worked markedly with singer-songwriter Arai Yumi (now Matsutōya Yumi) and Yellow Magic Orchestra, dividing his 50-year career between residencies in Tokyo and Los Angeles.
With fundamentals based on jazz and classical music, Murai cultivated an early love for big band music, playing the piano and saxophone, and managing a record shop when still a student. Vital experiences in high school led to travel to Paris, and the suggestion to run his own music publishing company. Murai parlayed the idea into an international network of music industry contacts, building relationships across the globe, and became integral in developing copyright protection for Japanese artists. As a result, his key strategic partnership with A&M Records in the U.S. led to international stardom for Alfa artist Yellow Magic Orchestra.
In December of 2017, Murai was honored in Tokyo with a 50th anniversary concert, performing many of his classics, and collaborating with six-time Grammy winner Jorge Calandrelli as well as Christian Jacob and The Tierney Sutton Band. Today, he continues to compose music for recording artists, the stage and the screen. Most recently, he composed the musical, La Comtesse De Cagliostro, which enjoyed a successful run in Tokyo. In 2019, Domo Records will release four of his best-known collections: Recollection; Beneath An Autumn Moon; Marcel's Dream; and La Comtesse De Cagliostro.