Makoto Nakura is a musician whose artistry and astonishing virtuosity have been mesmerizing audiences for decades. He creates innovative programs of new music as well as traditional classical repertoire, revealing the versatility and expressive range of the marimba while enlightening and entertaining the listener. His recent premieres include Toshio Mashima’s concerto for marimba and wind symphony at famed Philharmonie Hall in Berlin. The 2013-2014 season will see Mr. Nakura’s French recital debut in Paris and the Canadian debut with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra.
In 1994, Makoto moved from his native Japan to New York City, becoming the first marimbist to win First Prize in the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions. His critically acclaimed performances around the world have included venues in London, Berlin, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. In the U.S., he has performed for audiences in 41 of the 50 states with orchestras such as the New York Chamber Symphony, the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. As a recital soloist, his long list of appearances includes Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, New York’s 92nd Street Y and Washington’s Kennedy Center. In addition, Mr. Nakura has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and appeared in the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Spoleto USA Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Jeffrey Kahane's Green Music Festival and River to River Festival.
His recent honors include a National Arts Festival New Artist Award from the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs and the BMI/Carlos Surinach Fund Marimba Commission. His CDs “Ritual Protocol”, “Triple Jump” and “Tsuneya Tanabe Marimba Works” are devoted to works written especially for him. He also recorded “Bach Beat”, which consists of five Bach transcriptions made by Mr. Nakura. His newest CD “Music of Wood and Forest” was released by AMR in November, 2012 to critical acclaim.