After the deftly orchestrated slow introduction, the instruments of the string quartet enter one at a time with frenetic flourishes that shoot up the scale, which sets the restless first section in motion. In the slow central episode, Mr. Itoh shows an ear for writing thick, pungent chords bursting with notes. In its impressionistic colorings, the bracing concluding section sounds like updated Ravel, but in a brashly youthful and fresh way.

Anthony Tommasini

The New York Times, 5/23/2006

(complete review)

"Takuma Itoh Piece Enlivens Symphony"

Itoh... showed he can write a score that excites an audience. At the end, many subscribers rose to their feet to deliver a standing ovation to the composer. From a pulsing opening, Itoh's shimmering score expands into an affecting slow section before exploding into a vibrant finale. Director Milanov guided the orchestra through a vivid performance that roused the audience.

Robert Baxter

Courier-Post, 3/14/2007

Takuma Itoh’s “Across the Open Sky” for two violins in the balcony and the cello on stage was as ephemeral and impressionistic as a Monet watercolor. Spots of pastel strokes of color played against wispy fragments, undulating harmonies and an occasional soaring violin solo.


Geraldine Freedman

The Daily Gazette, 5/21/2012

(complete review)

Another outstanding piece was Takuma Itoh’s “Across the Open Sky”. Two violins were facing each other on the side first balconies, while a cellist sat on stage, conducted by Miller. Undulating textures and sweet harmonics would coalesce into haunting melodies, and at one point, sharp dart-like notes from each performer pierced the hall.

Priscilla McLean

Times Union 5/21/2012

(complete review)

His Concerto for Orchestra finds its sense of progression...with pools of color that morph from one appearance to another....Not often does one encourage a composer to expand.

David Patrick Stearns,

Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/14/2007

The piece does create a sense of peaceful drifting underlying the often busy surfaces of burbling winds and tinkling percussion from which, from time to time, a tonal folk-song-like theme arises. It is impossible not to be reminded of Takemitsu in this piece....Daydreams does impress by its carefully judged, and imaginative, sonorities.

Jeremy Marchant

Fanfare Magazine, 2/9/2013

(complete review)

On the program I attended, they performed Echolocation by Takuma Itoh and Chasing Silence by Roger Petersen. Both of these intriguing and beautiful pieces were composed for H2 Quartet and were flawlessly performed. The opening to the Itoh was a stunning section of short echoes reverberating around the quartet.

Susan Fancher

Saxophone Journal, Nov./Dec. 2009

Takuma Itoh's West Coast premiere of his Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra was beautifully rendered by St. Lawrence Quartet and the Stanford Philharmonic under Jindong Cai.

Mort Levine

San Jose Mercury News, 2/17/2010

(complete review)



The intensity of the piece (Echolocation) progresses along a path of mystery and exploratory meanderings, culminating in fortissimo squeals on top of shifting meters. A jazzy nod to the cacophony of George Crumb might not be a totally inaccurate way to describe it.

Esteban Meneses

Orlando Examiner, 5/6/2013

(complete review)