Hiroko Nakamura (piano)
Hiroko Nakamura began playing the piano at the age of three and soon became to be called a child prodigy. At 15 she became the youngest winner ever in the history of the most prestigious Music Competition of Japan. This led her to a sensational debut in the following year with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, which invited her as a soloist on its first world tour. Nakamura studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, under Rosina Lhevinne and soon after that she became the youngest prize winner at the 7th Chopin Competition. Since then, Nakamura has always been regarded as the top Japanese pianist and has given more than 3,000 concerts, enchanting audiences throughout the world. She has also made over 40 recordings, all became best sellers. Among them, her performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the London Symphony Orchestra sold over 100,000 copies in a year. Her delicate lyricism and extraordinary dynamism create music of profound emotion.
Nakamura has ever been a juror at many major piano competitions in the world, including the Chopin in Poland, the Tchaikovsky in Russia, the Arthur Rubinstein in Israel, the Busoni in Italy and so on. She also serves as the chairperson of the jury of the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition and as the Music Director of the Hamamatsu International Piano Academy.
She received the 2005 ExxonMobil Music Award. In 2006, she has made performances with the Osaka Philharmonic at the Osaka Symphony Hall, and with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra at its annual New Year’s concert. She played the a piano concerto by Akio Yashiro with the Yomiuri Japan Symphony Orchestra in October, and to serves as the chairperson of the jury of the 6th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in November.
Nakamura is also well-known as a nonfiction writer, critic and television personality. Her first book, “The Tchaikovsky Competition” written about her experiences on the juries at the 1982 and 1986 Tchaikovsky Competitions in Moscow, won the 20th Ohya Non-Fiction Prize, a Japanese equivalent to the prestigious American Pulitzer Prize, and sold over a quarter of a million copies.