September 24, 2023

Ryuichi Sakamoto Performs What May Be His Final Concert


On December 11, Ryuichi Sakamoto streamed a pre-recorded concert that he has said “may be my last” due to his ongoing battle with cancer. He revealed in June that he is battling stage 4 cancer, after previously announcing he had throat cancer in 2014 and rectal cancer in 2021.

The piano concert was streamed to around 30 countries and regions worldwide. During the show, the 70 year old performed 13 of his compositions, including the theme from 1983 film “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence,” “Tong Poo” from his work on Yellow Magic Orchestra, and music from a new album set for release in next month.

Following the concert at NHK Broadcasting Center in Shibuya, Sakamoto said it marked the first time he had played many of the songs solo on the piano, and that it had felt like a “new frontier” to him.

Because the composer is continuing to undergo treatment and does not have the energy to perform an entire concert, he instead recorded one song at a time and the final product was edited together.

Check the aforementioned performance of “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” below.


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