Since his dramatic 1997 Van Cliburn Gold Medal triumph, Jon Nakamatsu’s brilliant but unassuming musicianship and eclectic repertoire have made him a clear favorite throughout the world both on the concert circuit and in the recording studio. He has performed widely in North America, Europe, and the Far East and has collaborated with such conductors as James Conlon, Philippe Entremont, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Gerard Schwarz, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Michael Tilson Thomas and Osmo Vänskä. His extensive recital tours throughout the United States and Europe have featured appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Paris, London and Milan.
Mr. Nakamatsu maintains a nearly incessant touring schedule with orchestra performances, chamber collaborations and solo recitals. In addition to his numerous appearances with orchestra in the 2011-12 season, he returns to New York’s Lincoln Center for an exclusive recital engagement and brings his highly sought out artistry as a recitalist and chamber musician to such cities as Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, and at universities and on presenting series nationwide.
The 2010-11 US season included Mr. Nakamatsu’s first appearance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He also appeared with jazz pianist David Benoit in a special program mixing Gershwin with jazz and classical repertoire at the prestigious Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga. In August of 2010, he performed a recital for the Chopin Institute in Warsaw at Warsaw’s Philharmonic Hall and in October of that year, he returned to China for a debut at the Beijing International Piano Festival.
In past seasons, Mr. Nakamatsu has been soloist with many leading orchestras, including those of Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Rochester, San Francisco, Seattle, Tokyo and Vancouver. In February of 2010, he was the featured soloist for the highly acclaimed American tour of the Berlin-based Philharmonie der Nationen, conducted by Justus Franz, performing Brahms’ First Piano Concerto and Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto in twelve cities nationwide. Numerous summer festival engagements have included appearances at the Aspen, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Caramoor, Vail, Sun Valley, Wolftrap and Britt festivals. In 1999, Mr. Nakamatsu was invited to the White House to perform for President and Mrs. Clinton.
Among the numerous chamber ensembles with which Mr. Nakamatsu has collaborated are the Brentano, Jupiter, Tokyo, Prazak, St. Lawrence and Ying String Quartets. He also tours frequently with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet and in 2008 debuted on the Philharmonic’s chamber music series performing with the Quintet and members of the orchestra. His long association with clarinetist Jon Manasse, as part of the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo, continues in the 2011-12 season with tours throughout the US. In 2008, the Duo released its first CD (Brahms Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano) which received the highest praise from The New York Times Classical Music and Dance Editor James R. Oestreich, who named it a “Best of the Year” choice for 2008. The Duo’s most recent recording (American Music for Clarinet and Piano), released by harmonia mundi in 2010, received overwhelming praise by such publications as the International Record Review and The Mercury News, who listed it among their Top Classical CDs of 2010. In the fall of 2011, Mr. Nakamatsu and Mr. Manasse will record both the Brahms Clarinet Quintet and the Piano Quintet on one disc with the Tokyo String Quartet. Mr. Nakamatsu and Mr. Manasse continue to serve as Artistic Directors of the esteemed Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, founded by pianist Samuel Sanders in 1979.
Mr. Nakamatsu records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa, which has released ten CDs to date. His recent all-Gershwin recording with Jeff Tyzig and the Rochester Philharmonic featuring Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in F rose to number three on Billboard’s classical music charts, earning extraordinary critical acclaim.
Jon Nakamatsu studied privately with the late Marina Derryberry from the age of six, and has worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, son of the great pianist Artur Schnabel. He has also studied composition and orchestration with Dr. Leonard Stein of the Schoenberg Institute at the University of Southern California, and pursued extensive studies in chamber music and musicology. Mr. Nakamatsu is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in German Studies and a master’s degree in Education.
2 Impromptus (opus 90 nos. 3 and 2) .......................................
Sonata no. 3 in B Minor ..........................................................
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