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Eri Nakamura

Eri Nakamura
Collaborative Piano

Praised as “a pianist of exceptional sensitivity” by MusicWeb International and for her “eminently sensitive pianism” (The Strad) and “brilliantly expressive colors” (Blogcritics), Eri Nakamura has performed widely throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Finland, Serbia and her native Japan. Noted for her sensitive, thoughtful, and virtuosic playing, she is equally at home as a soloist and as a collaborator with singers and instrumentalists alike.

As an avid chamber musician, she is the pianist of the critically-acclaimed Neave Trio. With violinist Anna Williams and cellist Mikhail Veselov, Neave Trio has earned enormous praise for its engaging, cutting-edge performances. WQXR explains, “‘Neave’ is actually a Gaelic name meaning ‘bright’ and ‘radiant’, both of which certainly apply to this trio’s music making.” The Boston Musical Intelligencer included Neave in its “Best of 2014” and “Best of 2016” roundups, claiming, “their unanimity, communication, variety of touch, and expressive sensibility rate first tier.”

Neave Trio has performed and held residencies at many esteemed concert series as well as at festivals worldwide and has appeared frequently as soloists for Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with orchestras across the country. In the fall of 2017, the Trio joined the faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College as an Ensemble-​in-​Residence. Eri has also been appointed as a member of the faculty in the Keyboard Studies and Collaborative Piano Department at Longy School of Music as of the fall of 2019.

Neave Trio’s fourth and most recent album, Her Voice, features all-women composers and includes trios by Amy Beach, Rebecca Clarke, and Louise Farrenc; was released internationally on Chandos Records on October 4, 2019. This album, Her Voice was named by The New York Times as one of “The 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2019” and “Best of 2019” by BBC Radio 3. In November 2018, Neave released their third album, Celebrating Piazzolla, featuring The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires and all new arrangements of Piazzolla’s songs for piano trio and voice by Argentine arranger Leonardo Suarez Paz on Azica Records. Gramophone describes their recording of The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires as “thrilling,” having “wild energy,” and “electrifying,” while Classics Today writes, “the energetic edginess, the snap, the rhythm sound convincing, totally invigorating, and authentic”. Blogcritics also praises,” Pianist Eri Nakamura summons orchestral depth, by turns dark and brilliant, from the keys.” Neave released their second album, French Moments, on Chandos Records in June 2018. That album showcases works by Debussy, Fauré, and Roussel and was featured on WQXR’s list of “The Best New Recordings of 2018”. Their 2016 debut album, American Moments, featuring works by Korngold, Foote, and Bernstein, was released to critical acclaim on Chandos Records.

BBC Music Magazine states, “Eri Nakamura’s clear-toned pianism is very classy indeed and enlivens throughout.”

Recent recitals include performances at Mostly Mozart Festival in David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Terrace Theater at Kennedy Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, Izumi Hall in Osaka, D.O.O.R Hall and Aster Plaza in Hiroshima, Japan, BBC 3 Radio: “In Tune”, Blackheath Halls in London, Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music Series (United Kingdom) and Tuupovaaran Ullakko in Finland, Kulturni Center Belgrade in Serbia, Begemot Art Gallery in Barcelona, and the Aosta Classica Concert Series and Teatro Romano in Italy. Ms. Nakamura has also appeared as a soloist with Tokyo’s Edogawa Philharmonic, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra in Severance Hall. She has been featured on the Saugerties, NY Pro Musica Concert Series; the Muhlenberg College Recital Series; the Chamber Music Society at Yale; the International Chamber Music Courses in Positano, Italy; the Piano Plus! Concert Series in New York City; and the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Courmayeur, Italy. Summer festival appearances include Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Centre, Aspen Music Festival, and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, while Ms. Nakamura has been the repetiteur for La Lingua della Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, and Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Canada.

A prizewinner of many competitions, Nakamura was the first prize winner of the Yale School of Music Chamber Music Competition, the Miyazawa Piano Competition in Japan, and the California State Division of the MTNA- Steinway & Sons Collegiate Artist Piano Competition, as well as recipient of the Distinguished Musician Award at the IBLA Grand Prize International Piano Competition in Ragusa, Italy. In addition, she has received numerous awards and scholarships, including the Mu Phi Epsilon Rose Lobe Collaborative Piano Award, the Helen Curtis Webster Award, the William B. Kurzban Scholarship and the Rosa Lobe Memorial Scholarship at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Henry & Lucy G. Moses Scholarship and Mary Clapp Howell Scholarship at Yale University, the Liberace Foundation Scholarship, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Piano Award and the Fine Arts Award in Piano.

Ms. Nakamura was born in Hiroshima and began her piano studies at the age of four with Mie Ishii. Nakamura holds a Professional Diploma in vocal collaborative piano from Mannes School of Music, where she was a student of Cristina Stanescu and Vlad Iftinca. Ms. Nakamura studied with Sergei Babayan and Anita Pontremoli at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received Artist Diplomas in both solo and collaborative piano. Nakamura also holds a Master of Music and Artist Diploma from Yale University School of Music where she was under the tutelage of Peter Frankl, and a Bachelor of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Mack McCray. Ms. Nakamura is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where she was a student of Victoria Mushkatkol and Stephen Perry. Other important chamber music influences include Ms. Nakamura’s work with Claude Frank and the Tokyo String Quartet at both Yale University and the Norfolk Music Festival, as well as her studies with Ken Merrill during his residency at Mannes and with John Perry at the Banff Centre and Aspen Music Festival. In 2016, Nakamura was selected as a Leonard Bernstein Piano Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she studied with Peter Serkin, Joseph Kalichstein, Garrick Ohlsson, Alan L. Smith, Kenneth Griffiths, Kayo Iwama and Margo Garrett. Ms. Nakamura has also worked with Dawn Upshaw, Sanford Sylvan, Stephanie Blythe, Renée Fleming and Frederica von Stade.

In master classes, she has performed for Murray Perahia, Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, Jerome Lowenthal, Gilbert Kalish, Martin Katz, Warren Jones, Jorg Demus, and Boris Berman. From 2013, Nakamura was a Collaborative Piano Fellow at the Bard Conservatory of Music, where she closely worked with the Vocal Arts Program led by Dawn Upshaw and Kayo Iwama.