Yuki Kajiura (梶浦 由記, Kajiura Yuki, born August 6, 1965 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese composer and music producer. She has provided the music for several popular anime series, such as the final Kimagure Orange Road movie, Noir, .hack//Sign, Aquarian Age, Madlax, My-HiME, My-Otome, .hack//Roots, Pandora Hearts, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online, Tsubasa Chronicle and the Kara no Kyoukai movies (amongst others). She also assisted Toshihiko Sahashi with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Kajiura has also composed for video games, including the cutscene music for Xenosaga II and the entire Xenosaga III game soundtrack. Most recently, she composed the music for NHK's April 2014 morning drama (asadora) "Hanako to Anne".
Due to her father's work, Kajiura lived in West Germany from 1972 until her middle school years. Her first music piece, which she had written at the age of 7, was a farewell song for her grandmother. After graduating from college (back in Tokyo), she began working as a systems engineering programmer, but in 1992, she turned her career around to focus on her activities on music. She admits that it was her father who greatly influenced this decision, for he was a great opera and classical music admirer.
In July 1992, she made her debut in an all-female trio See-Saw, then consisting of Chiaki Ishikawa (lead vocals), herself (back-up vocals, keyboards), and Yukiko Nishioka. In the following two years, the group released six singles and two albums but in 1995 they temporarily broke up. Nishioka decided to become a writer while Kajiura carried on with her solo musician career, composing music for other artists as well as sound producing for TV, commercials, films, anime and games.
In 2001, she and Chiaki Ishikawa reunited as See-Saw. Around the same time she became involved with Kōichi Mashimo's anime studio Bee Train and their first popular project, Noir.
Kajiura greatly enjoyed the degree of artistic freedom that Mashimo as the series' director offered her while collaborating on Noir, therefore their collaboration extended to many of his later projects, with the latest (as of 2007) being El Cazador de la Bruja. For example, Mashimo would never set any distinctive limitations or goals before her, allowing her to compose whatever she pleases. Afterwards, he would just take the samples he thought appropriate and insert it to whenever he wanted them to play.
In 2002, See-Saw participated in another Mashimo's project, .hack//Sign During the production of the series, Kajiura met Emily Bindiger and impressed by her vocals, offered her to perform over 10 of the series' insert songs. She has also jokingly called Bindiger "her English teacher" at Anime Expo 2003.
One of Kajiura's solo projects include FictionJunction, which contrary to common belief is not an alias but the name of the project itself. The project involves collaboration with artists such as Yuuka Nanri, Asuka Kato, and Kaori Oda. FictionJunction Yuuka, with Nanri as the vocalist, is the most prolific of these collaborations. In 2004, the duo produced the opening and ending songs for Kōichi Mashimo's Madlax and in the next year, published their first collaborative album, Destination.
In October 2007, it was announced that Yuki Kajiura would be attending the performances of the Eminence Orchestra's concert, 'A Night in Fantasia 2007 - Symphonic Anime Edition', as a special guest.
Her latest project, Kalafina, is composed of Keiko Kubota (FictionJunction Keiko), Wakana Ootaki (FictionJunction Wakana) and two other vocalists named Hikaru and Maya. They performed the ending themes of the Kara no Kyoukai movies.
In 2009, Fiction Junction returned to perform the opening theme song to Pandora Hearts, Parallel Hearts, with the majority of the show's music composed by Yuki Kajiura.
In 2011, Puella Magi Madoka Magica was scored by Kajiura, while Kalafina, a group founded by her, performed the ending theme.
In 2013, a new concert at Tokyo International Forum, "Hall A" has been scheduled.
The 2014 series Aldnoah.Zero's opening theme "Heavenly Blue" was composed by Kajiura and was performed by Kalafina.