Makoto Nakura's artistry and astonishing virtuosity have been mesmerizing audiences for over a quarter century. From his early days as the first percussionist to be invited by Young Concert Artists to his current active concert career, 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. Recent premieres include Toshio Mashima's marimba concerto at the famed Berlin Philharmonic Hall as well as Benjamin C. S. Boyle's marimba concerto with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra.
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" , "Tsuneya Tanabe Marimba Works" , and "Wood and Forest" are devoted to works written for him. He also recorded his own transcription of works by Bach called "Bach Beat" and most recently "Bach Beat II" , which was released by Naxos in April 2016 to critical acclaim.
Programmes and projects
Bach Parallels pairs transcriptions of Bach's music for marimba with new compositions inspired by Bach, creating a conversation across centuries and instruments, both pulling the audience into Bach's world and creating an entirely new one.
Tears and Prayers is programme in which Makoto reflects on his career in an intimate and moving way. The programme features folk songs, music by Mozart, Schubert, Bach, and others.
Makoto’s solo recital programs are a mixture of classical and modern repertoire. The programs will clearly show that the marimba has a wide range of expressive qualities, and that it is a versatile instrument which suits many different kind of styles.
EAST HAMPTON STAR
“Makoto Nakura, a marimbist of the highest virtuosity, turned both works into singularly raptuous aural adventures.”
— John Jonas Gruen
NEW MUSIC BOX
“There is a sense, not just of a showcase for a brilliant player, but an emotional portrait of the ability and personality of a soloist.”
— Benjamin Ivy
LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Although high powered technique is one thing, what makes Nakura special is the staggeringly wide range of nuance and color that he could command at will from his collection of mallets.”
— Richard S. Ginell