Self-taught musician and composer Toru Takemitsu embraced the leading edge of Japanese new wave music, a style that blended western classical music with traditional Japanese instruments and songs. Two of his best-known works include "Requiem for Strings" composed in 1957 and "November Steps," which was commissioned by Leonard Bernstein to celebrate the New York Philharmonic's 125th anniversary. Takemitsu has written scores for many Japanese films, beginning with Juvenile Passions (1958). His haunting music for Hiroshi Teshigahara's Suna no Onna (Woman of the Dunes) (1964) remains one of his best scores. Takemitsu's last project in film was to serve as the music director for the documentary retrospective 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995).