*25 VII 1944 Tokio - †26 VII 2016
Hiroko Nakamura – 4th Prize winner, 7th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1965). Hiroko Nakamura started her piano tuition at the age of four, under the tutelage of Akiko Igushi at the Toho Gakuen School of Music. Later she studied with Leonid Kochański who prepared her for participation in the National Music Competition where she won 1st prize (1958). In 1960, she entered the Music Conservatoire in Tokyo and also made her debut with orchestra, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major. Such was her success that she was invited to join the NHK Symphony Orchestra for a world tour as a soloist. A year later, Nakamura gave her first solo recital at Tokyo’s prestigious Metropolitan Festival Hall.
In 1962 Ms. Nakamura left Japan for the United States where, after working briefly with Frank Mankayer in Minnesota, she took part in the 1st International Van Cliburn Piano Competition in Fort Worth (Texas). Illness prevented her from appearing in the finals and taking what seemed a very likely award.
Ms. Nakamura spent the year 1963 at the Juilliard School of Music in the class of Rosina Lhévinne. She then moved to Warsaw to study with Zbigniew Drzewiecki and participate in the 1965 Chopin Competition where she was awarded 4th Prize and the Chopin Scholarship Fund Award for the youngest finalist. In 1972 Ms. Nakamura appeared at the Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition in Brussels but was failed to place.
After her successful performance at the Chopin Competition Ms. Nakamura developed her skills with Nikita Magaloff and at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.
In October 1966, Ms. Nakamura toured as a soloist with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Witold Rowicki conducting.
She has performed in many countries around the world, including the Soviet Union and Poland. On 26th April 1972 she gave a recital in Warsaw featuring Handel’s Suite No. 2 in F major, Schumann’s Carnival, Débussy’s Suite Pour le Piano, Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 4 in A major and Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz. Encores included Chopin’s Etude in A flat major from Op. 10 and three pieces by Liszt (Campanella, Gnomenreigen, Liebestraum).
Ms. Nakamura is particularly popular in Russia, where she is remembered for her brilliant interpretations of Beethoven’s sonatas (the Waldstein and Appassionata), Mozart’s piano concertos, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Chopin. During the 1999/2000 season, she toured in Europe and the US.
Ms. Nakamura is also an active chamber performer, playing with violin and cello. She has formed a piano duo with Russian pianist Sergei Dorensky. She has made over 40 recordings for various labels.
Ms. Nakamura has participated in international music competitions juries in Warsaw (Chopin Competition 1990,1995,2000,2005), Moscow, Lisbon, Santander, Tel Aviv and others. She is the author of four books on music. She holds the Polonia Restituta Commander’s Cross order.