阿久悠 (Aku Yū) Japanese lyricist, poet and author. Born on February 7, 1937, died August 1, 2007. By far the best-selling songwriter in Japanese popular music history with sales of almost 70 million singles. Wrote lyrics for a vast number of popular Japanese stars including Hibari Misora, Pink Lady, Aki Yashiro, Akiko Wada, Shinichi Mori, Finger 5, Kenji Sawada and many others.
Pianist Naoko Akutagawa is a native of Hiroshima; she began to play the piano at the tender age of three. After studying in Tokyo with Masayasu Oshima, Akutagawa decided to take up the harpsichord and entered the Tohogakuen College of Music to study with harpsichordist Chiyoko Arita. After obtaining her degree in 1997, Akutagawa traveled to Germany to study with Glen Wilson at the Musikhochschule in Würzburg, and was named a professor there in 2001. In 2007, Akutagawa was still teaching at the Musikhochschule in Würzburg and playing with Wilson in harpsichord duets; she is swiftly making a name for herself as a soloist.