Pianist Jon Nakamatsu Performs This Weekend at the Mostly Mozart Festival
The distinguished pianist Jon Nakamatsu will perform Brahms's Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38 alongside Budapest Festival Orchestra's principal cellist Péter Szabó in a pre-concert recital tonight, August 16th at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 17th at 7:00 p.m. at Avery Fisher Hall, 20 W 65th St., New York.
Mr. Nakamatsu's appearances precede an all-Brahms program with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, led by David Afkham in his Mostly Mozart debut. The concerts will feature Brahms's Double Concerto with soloists Truls Mørk, cello and Vadim Repin, violin and will begin at 8:00 p.m. each evening at Avery Fisher Hall.
Ticket holders for the Mostly Mozart Festival concerts will gain entry into pre-concert events. Tickets are $35- $85 and are available by visiting lc.lincolncenter.org or by calling 212.875.5030.
For well over a decade American pianist Jon Nakamatsu has been heard throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a concerto soloist, solo recitalist, and chamber collaborator of extraordinary musical powers. Most notably he has performed to universal critical acclaim in such venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and in such cities as Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Paris, London, Berlin, and Milan. Last season Mr. Nakamatsu, an idiomatic interpreter of Chopin's music, performed a Chopin Bicentenary recital (2010) at Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw, and at the 2010 Beijing International Piano Festival. In July 2011 he was heard in recital on the prestigious Masters Series of the International Keyboard Institute & Festival in New York City. In April 2011 Mr. Nakamatsu was heard in recital at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Highlights of Mr. Nakamatsu's 2012-13 season included guest soloist engagements with the Rochester Philharmonic, Des Moines Symphony, the El Paso Symphony, and the Stanford Symphony and he is slated to perform with the Baltimore Symphony in late July of this year. In recital he was heard in Pittsburgh, Rockford, IL, and Fresno, CA. As part of the Manasse Nakamatsu Duo with clarinetist Jon Manasse, Mr. Nakamatsu toured the United States in the spring of 2013. Mr. Nakamastsu also joined Mr. Manasse in a concert presented by Music of the Spheres in New York in February 2013.
Mr. Nakamatsu has been an active guest soloist with leading orchestras throughout his career; among them the orchestras of Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Rochester, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Berlin, Milan, and Tokyo. He has collaborated with such esteemed conductors as James Conlon, Philippe Entremont, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Gerard Schwarz, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Michael Tilson Thomas and Osmo Vänskä. 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's First Piano Concerto and Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto in twelve cities nationwide. Numerous summer engagements have included appearances at the Aspen, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Caramoor, Vail, Wolftrap, and Britt festivals. In 1999, Mr. Nakamatsu performed at the White House at the special invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton.
Among the many chamber ensembles with which Mr. Nakamatsu has collaborated are the Brentano, Jupiter, Miami, 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. Together with the acclaimed clarinetist Jon Manasse, Mr. Nakamatsu tours regularly as part of the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. 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 Editor James R. Oestreich, who named it a "Best of the Year" choice for 2008. Their latest CD (AMERICAN MUSIC FOR CLARINET AND PIANO) released in 2010 has also garnered international rave reviews. Mr. Nakamatsu and Mr. Manasse also 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, all to high critical praise. 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. Mr. Nakamatsu's disc of Brahms solo piano music drew the following from Gary Lemco of Audiophile Audition: "The two intermezzi and E-flat Rhapsody remind me of Rubinstein's way with these sleek, economical and wistful pieces, with the optimistic, extroverted display saved for the last. Both Brahmsians and Nakamatsu collectors will want this one." (November 2004).
For his 2011-12 season Lincoln Center presented Mr. Nakamatsu in an all-Liszt recital on its 'Great Performers" series in New York City. His busy touring schedule takes him throughout the United States in recital, as concerto soloist and as collaborative artist for many of the most prestigious series and festivals.
A high school teacher of German with no formal conservatory training, Mr. Nakamatsu's electrifying performance of Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto won him the Gold Medal at the 1997 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition amidst a field of experienced competition warriors. Jon Nakamatsu studied privately with the late Marina Derryberry from the age of six, and 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.