Shota Nakano was born in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, in 1984. After studying with Hiroko Edo, he entered the Juilliard School Pre-College in 1999. He then advanced to The Juilliard School, studying piano with Yoheved Kaplinsky and chamber music with Itzhak Perlman, and received his master’s degree in 2009.
Nakano has been the recipient of grants from the Meiji Yasuda Cultural Foundation and the Ezoe Memorial Recruit Foundation, as well as a Sony Fellowship Grant. In 1996 he earned the First National Prize for elementary school students and the Nomura Prize in the 50th Japan National Student Music Competition.
Nakano has performed with numerous orchestras and conductors, including the NHK Symphony conducted by Charles Dutoit, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony conducted by Ken-ichiro Kobayashi, and the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Seiji Ozawa. He is also active as a recital artist, with performances in settings including the 20th Tokyo Summer Festival, “B→C,” presented by Tokyo Opera City, Toppan Hall, Kioi Hall, and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Concert Hall. Recently he has also earned praise for performances such as a piano duo including improvisation with jazz pianist Takashi Matsunaga and a chamber music performance with three pianos and violin.
All three of Nakano’s CDs released on the Octavia Records label—Schumann’s Piano Concerto, Manhattan – Shota Plays Gershwin and La Valse – Ravel & Corigliano Piano Pieces—have been named “best recording” by Record Geijutsu magazine, with Gershwin additionally receiving the magazine’s recording prize for excellence. In 2014, his performance with NHK Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy was highly praised for its rich expressiveness and transparency of sound.
Based on his classical foundations, Nakano continues to expand his musical activity into fields including composition, arrangement and jazz.
Shota Nagano was awarded the the 15th Idemitsu Music Prize.
Official YouTube channel: https://www.japanarts.co.jp/artist/ShotaNAKANO
2020/21 season only.