Ikuyo Nakamichi Biography
Ikuyo Nakamichi won the first prize and the Masuzawa Prize at the 51st Annual Japan Music Competition in her freshman year at Toho Gakuen School of Music. After taking numerous prizes in Japan and abroad, she began her performing activity in Europe and Japan in 1987. With a broad repertory ranging from Classical to Romantic, Nakamichi has performed as a soloist with Japan’s leading orchestras as well as many European and American orchestras. She is recognized as one of the leading Japanese pianists in terms of both popularity and ability. She has performed as a soloist with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Jukka-Pekka Saraste; the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, all under Lorin Maazel; the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra under Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi; the English Chamber Orchestra under Pinchas Zukerman; the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos; and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Paavo Järvi—earning high critical acclaim.
In 1999, Nakamichi gave her debut recital performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2001 she made her concerto debuts in St. Petersburg and at the Berlin Philharmonie.
Nakamichi has given many recitals in Japan. Particularly, her series of “Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas,” together with a recording, has earned Nakamichi high praise for her earnest attitude towards the works and for her superior musicality, and firmly established her reputation as “Beethoven performer Ikuyo Nakamichi.” Recently, she has also earned acclaim for her Chopin, Mozart, and Beethoven series projects, as well as concerts at Suntory Hall, which have become an annual tradition.
Nakamichi’s wish to “give children the gift of wonderful encounters with music” led to projects titled “The Zoo in the Sky,” “Children of Light,” and “The Mysterious Ball.” The wonderful humanity and attractive details that she brings to this series and to school outreach programs have won over more and more fans.
Nakamichi has an exclusive recording contract with Sony Music Japan International and has released many CDs. Her latest release of the “Complete Mozart Sonatas” was selected as specially recommended recordings in “Record Arts” magazine and praised by Jiro Hamada as “the definitive recordings of Mozart performed on the contemporary piano.” As a writer, Nakamichi has published a number of books including “Famous Pianos and Piano Music,” “The Chopin Keyboard Mysteries,” and “Beethoven Keyboard Universe” (Natsume). She appears frequently on TV and radio, and contributes to newspapers and magazines. By conveying the joy of music in rich and varied ways, she has gained a large following among the public.