Pianist Jon Nakamatsu draws unanimous praise as a true aristocrat of the keyboard whose playing combines elegance, clarity, and electrifying power. A native of California, Jon came to international attention in 1997 when he was named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to have achieved this distinction since 1981.
Jon has performed widely in North and South America, Europe, and the Far East, and in prestigious concert halls included Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He also performed at a White House concert hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton.
You may know Jon from his role, with clarinetist Jon Manasse, as Artistic Director of the esteemed Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. The two Jons tour as the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo.
Jon records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa, which has released thirteen CDs to date. His all-Gershwin recording with Jeff Tyzik 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 praise.
Other acclaimed releases include an all-Liszt disc featuring the "Dante Sonata"; a recording of Brahms' “Piano Sonata in F minor”; and Rachmaninoff's “Piano Concerto No. 3” and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Jon's 2008 recording of Brahms' Clarinet Sonatas with Jon Manasse was chosen by the New York Times as one of its top releases for the year.
Since 1997, Jon has served on multiple international piano competition juries and has also been a guest speaker at numerous institutions, including the Van Cliburn Foundation, Stanford University, and the Juilliard School.
Jon is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in German Studies and a master's degree in Education.
To learn more about Jon, visit his website.