Hiroko Nakamura, Japanese classical pianist, Died at 72


Hiroko Nakamura was born on born July 25, 1944, and died on July 26, 2016.

She was a Japanese pianist.

Hiroko was the youngest, and the fourth Japanese prizewinner at the 7th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition (the first Japanese prizewinner is Kiyoko Tanaka).

Her career took her around 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.

At the age of 3, she started studying piano at Toho Gakuen School of Music under Aiko Iguchi.

At just 15 years old in 1959, Hiroko won at the National Music Competition of Japan.

NHK Symphony Orchestra invited her as a soloist on its first world tour, after she won, this was also the first tour for her.

Hiroko Nakamura went to Juilliard School of Music in 1960 and studied under Rosina Lhévinne, the famous Russian-Jewish pedagogue who also taught Van Cliburn.

Hiroko Nakamura became the youngest prizewinner (4th) at the 7th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition, in 1965.

Also to that Harold Charles Schonberg found her musical interpretation fascinating and mentioned her playing in one of his books, The great pianists.

She was also well known as a nonfiction writer, critic and television personality.

Hiroko first book, The Tchaikovsky Competition, she wrote 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.

She resided in Mita, Tokyo with her husband Kaoru Shōji, who was one of the winners of Akutagawa Prize.

Hiroko Nakamura passed away at 72 years old.