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Hayato Matsuo

Overview Biography Discography Game Projects Interviews

Hayato Matsuo Date of Birth: August 13, 1968 (Kashiwa)
Education: Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music
Musical Influences: Jerry Goldsmith, ELP, Koichi Sugiyama
Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Electone
Game Works: Fuurai no Shiren, Dragon Quest, Master of Monsters

Employment History

Company Tenure Role
Imagine 1996 - Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator

Brief Profile

Matsuo developed a love for music through playing the electone and listening to ELP and Jerry Goldsmith. While studying music at the eminent Tokyo National University of Fine Arts, he received tuition from Koichi Sugiyama and was entrusted to arrange classic Dragon Quest compositions for the series' drama CDs and anime scores. Deciding to become a media composer, he composed for Master of Monsters, Classic Road, and Syvalion. Following big breaks on the game Ogre Battle and the anime Magic Knight Rayearth, he was scouted by Kohei Tanaka to join the music production company Imagine in 1996.

At Imagine, Matsuo has become a prolific and versatile anime composer. His major works have included Landlock, Haunted Junction, Captain Kuppa, Street Fighter Alpha, Transformers: Armada, Kamen Rider 555, Les Misérables, and Hellsing. He is famous for his rich orchestral scores, which have been performed by the Kanagawa Philharmonic and Warsaw Philharmonic, and his memorable opening and ending themes. He has also remained associated with Koichi Sugiyama, responsible for adapting music for the Fuurai no Shiren series for albums and spinoffs and MIDI sequencing for the Dragon Quest DS remakes.

Matsuo remains a prominent video game composer in his own right. He is best known for his militaristic works on Dragon Force II, Front Mission 3, Ogre Battle 64, and Final Fantasy XII. He has also regularly arranged for Sega for franchises like NiGHTs, Shenmue, Panzer Dragoon, and Sakura Taisen. His other game scores include Classic Road, Sword Maniac, Kabuki Itouryodan, Chou-Mahsin Eiyuuden Wataru, Let's Smash, and Homeland. Matsuo has also performed with the band G-Clef, composed Megumi Ogata's album Multipheno, and arranged for the Orchestral Game Concert series.

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