Jon Nakamatsu at Yoshi’s S.F.

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Jon Nakamatsu

KDFC presents Jon Nakamatsu on Wednesday, July 20, at 8 p.m. at Yoshi’s San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore St. (at Eddy) in the Fillmore Heritage Center.

Tickets are $30. For reservations, call (415) 655-5600 or visit www.yoshis.com.

One of the most sought-after pianists of his generation, Nakamatsu is a frequent concerto soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and solo recitalist throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan. He enjoys a continuously expanding career based on a deeply probing and illuminating musicality as well as a quietly charismatic performing style.

Highlights of Nakamatsu’s current season include return engagements with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Annapolis, Bozeman and Greenwich symphony orchestras, Lexington and Reno philharmonics and Santa Fe Pro Musica, as well as performances with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the orchestras of Cape Cod, Fremont, La Crosse, Lincoln and Norwalk.

He reunites with his colleagues of the Berlin Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet for performances in Berlin and Detroit, and is presented in recital from coast to coast. With his duo-recital partner, clarinetist Jon Manasse, Nakamatsu performs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and in New York City, Boston, Des Moines and Saratoga, Calif.

Initially brought to global attention in June 1997 by being named gold medalist of the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Nakamatsu subsequently appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and the Boston Pops at Tanglewood, as well as with, among many others, the orchestras of Buffalo, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Dayton, Delaware, Detroit, Fort Worth, Honolulu, Memphis, Milwaukee, Naples, New Mexico, New World, Portland, Rochester, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Syracuse, Toledo and Utah.

Abroad, he has been heard as soloist with Italy’s famed Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Berlin’s Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica, Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional de Santo Domingo and Japan’s Tokyo and Hiroshima Symphony Orchestras. In 2005, he toured Spain as soloist with the San Jose Youth Symphony, followed by a 2007 tour with the Peninsula Youth Symphony that included performances in Budapest and Prague.

Nakamatsu has collaborated with many of today’s leading conductors, among them Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Peter Bay, William Boughton, George Cleve, James Conlon, Grant Cooper, Leslie B. Dunner, Philippe Entremont, Neal Gittleman, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Marek Janowski, Chosei Komatsu, Michael Lankester, Peter Leonard, Raymond Leppard, Jahja Ling, Keith Lockhart, David Lockington, Christof Perick, Larry Rachleff, Peter Rubardt, Matthew Savery, Alfred Savia, Carl St. Clair, Christopher Seaman, Stanislaw Skrowaczeski, Markand Thakar, Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, David Wiley, Peter Stafford Wilson and Samuel Wong.

His 1998-99 season was highlighted by a White House performance of “Rhapsody in Blue,” hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton.

Nakamatsu’s extensive recital tours throughout the U.S. and Europe have featured perfromances in New York City (Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall), Washington, D.C. (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Miami, Houston, San Francisco, Paris, London and Milan.

The recipient of the Steven De Groote Memorial Award for his semifinal round chamber music performances at the Cliburn competition, he has subsequently collaborated with various chamber ensembles, among them the Brentano, Ives, Manhattan, Miami, St. Lawrence, Prazak, Tokyo and Ying String Quartets and the Stanford Woodwind Quintet. Nakamatsu has also made three U.S. tours as the guest soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet.

Nakamatsu’s festival appearances include Tanglewood, the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival with Christopher Seaman and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also been a guest artist at France’s Evian and Montpellier music festivals and Germany’s Klavier Festival Ruhr, Festival Casals de Puerto Rico, performing with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Carl St. Clair, and at the Colorado Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Florida’s Brevard and Sanibel music festivals, Tacoma International Music Festival, Lincoln’s Meadowlark Music Festival, New York’s Skaneateles Festival and California’s Midsummer Mozart Festival.

Named Debut Artist of the Year (1998) by NPR’s “Performance Today,” Nakamatsu has been profiled by “CBS Sunday Morning” and Reader’s Digest magazine, and is featured in “Playing with Fire,” a documentary on the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, aired nationwide on PBS. In 1995, he was named the first-prize winner of Miami’s Fifth U.S. Chopin Piano Competition.

He records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa, which has released six CDs, including an orchestral album containing performances of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto and “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” with Christopher Seaman and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as albums devoted to the music of Brahms, Chopin, Foss, Liszt and Wölfl.

Nakamatsu’s most recent release is his second orchestral album with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring Gershwin’s Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue, conducted by Jeff Tyzik. Soon to be released is his first CD with Manasse, a recording of the Brahms Clarinet Sonatas.

Nakamatsu has studied privately with Marina Derryberry since the age of 6, has worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and studied composition and orchestration with Dr. Leonard Stein of the Schoenberg Institute at the University of Southern California. In addition, he has pursued extensive studies in chamber music and musicology.

A former high school German teacher, Nakamatsu is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in German studies and a master’s degree in education.

Nakamatsu and Manasse serve as artistic directors of the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, an appointment announced during summer 2006.

On the Web: www.jonnakamatsu.com

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