Nakamatsu set to transport Clayton audience

Jon Nakamatsu will perform at the Clayton Center for the Arts on Oct. 28

Jon Nakamatsu will perform at the Clayton Center for the Arts on Oct. 28

Music can transport listeners to another place.

That is what award-winning classical pianist, Jon Nakamatsu says he intends for his audience at the Clayton Center for the Arts on Thursday, Oct. 28.

“The way I like to design programs is to take the audience on an emotional journey. When I go to a concert hall, I like to be moved to a place I don’t exist everyday. I think music has the power to do that,” Nakamatsu said.

The musician is a critically acclaimed performer and was recently described as “one of the very finest, most exciting artists in the world soloist circuit today,” according to a review in The Aptos Times, Aptos, Calif. in February.

Nakamatsu said he is grateful for his success but most appreciative of feedback from his audiences. “The compliments that mean the most to me are when people say things like ‘that song reminds me of something my mother, father or grandmother used to play.”

The pianist said he performs a variety of music during his recital and is connected to each piece he plays. “Anything I play on the stage has to function as my favorite piece of the moment.”

He said his music selections are carefully chosen. “It’s easy to listen to it even if you don’t know the selections. The program appeals to a broad range audience.”

The San Jose, Calif., resident has performed for audiences all over the world and says he travels about 75 percent of the year.

He has tickled the ivories at the White House, Carnegie Hall, The Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center. The musician has performed throughout the U.S. and the world; including Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo and Bejing.

Nakamatsu’s professional career began after he won the gold medal in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997. Before competing, Nakamatsu was a high school German teacher in California with no formal conservatory training.

“Traveling all over the globe is more than I ever dreamed of.”

He hopes to travel to all 50 states and said he has performed in 45 so far. “Every venue offers something different.”

The pianist said he came to East Tennessee several years ago and performed at the University of Tennessee. He said he is looking forward to returning to the area during the scenic fall season.

Nakamatsu’s recital is the first of five classical piano performances at The Clayton Center for the Arts for the 2010-2011 season.

The Young Pianist Series, normally held in Knoxville, will be at the Clayton Center this year. Pianists include: Dmitri Levkovich on Jan. 30, Soojin Ahn on Feb. 27, and Roberto Plano on March 20. The final concert will be the second Adams Foundation performer, Ian Hobson on April 10.

A Clayton Center press release said “bringing so many gifted concert pianists in one season may never happen again.”

The Adams Foundation is presenting the Nakamatsu in the Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall of the Clayton Center on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for Jon Nakamatsu are on sale now. For more information, contact the Clayton Center for the Arts box office at 865-981-8590 or online at www.claytonartscenter.com.

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