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Hiroko Nakamura (中村 紘子 Nakamura Hiroko?, born July 25, 1944) is a Japanese pianist. She is the youngest, and the fourth Japanese prizewinner at the 7th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition (the first Japanese prizewinner is Kiyoko Tanaka). As her career in Europe, America, and a guest-judge of the major piano competitions, she is considered one of the most advanced and well-known players in Japan.
Birth and the careers
- Born in Yamanashi, grew up in Tokyo.
- Started studying piano at the age of 3 at Toho Gakuen School of Music under Aiko Iguchi.
- In 1959, she won at the National Music Competition of Japan at the age of 15 years old.
- Right after winning the competition, NHK Symphony Orchestra invited her as a soloist on its first world tour, which was also the first tour for her.
- In 1960, she went to Juilliard School of Music, and studied under Rosina Lhévinne, the famous Russian-Jewish pedagogue who also taught Van Cliburn.
- In 1965, she became the youngest prizewinner (4th) at the 7th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition.
- Harold Charles Schonberg found her musical interpretation fascinating, and mentioned her playing in one of his books, The great pianists.
She has been a juror at many major piano competitions in the world, including the Chopin in Poland, the Tchaikovsky in Russia, the Arthur Rubinstein in Israel, the Busoni in Italy and so on. She also serves as the chairperson of the jury of the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition and as the Music Director of the Hamamatsu International Piano Academy. She received the 2005 ExxonMobil Music Award. Her style of piano music is tender, playing not too loudly.
Nakamura is also well known as a nonfiction writer, critic and television personality. Her first book, “The Tchaikovsky Competition” written about her experiences on the juries at the 1982 and 1986 Tchaikovsky Competitions in Moscow, won the 20th Ohya Non-Fiction Prize, a Japanese equivalent to the prestigious American Pulitzer Prize.
- International Tchaikovsky Competition(Original チャイコフスキーコンクール)
- The barbarians whose names are "pianist"！(Original ピアニストという蛮族がいる)