Japanese-American pianist Ayane Nakajima is the prize winner of several international competitions including Young Texas Artists, International Keyboard Odyssiad and Festival, and YoungArts.
Born and raised in New York City, Ayane began playing the piano at the age of three under the tutelage of Chaim Freiberg at the Kaufman Music Center. From the age of six until eighteen, she studied privately with Dr. Hiromi Fukuda. Ayane was recently accepted to the Royal College of Music and will begin her Master’s degree in London with Danny Driver, where she is a Royal College of Music Scholar. She attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and received her Bachelor of Music with Dr. Jon Kimura Parker at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas.
Ayane has given performances at prestigious venues across the United States such as Steinway Hall New York, Scandinavia House, Alice Tully Hall, Rose Studio at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the New World Center. She also actively performs and participates in summer festivals, most recently at the Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice, where she studied intensively with pianist Akiko Ebi.
Alongside many top honors, Ayane was selected as a recipient of the 2023 Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts by the Dean of Undergraduates at Rice University, awarded since 1983 to a graduating senior who exhibits “promise in the arts.” She was also nominated as a semi-finalist for the 2019 United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts. In 2018, she had her concerto debut performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Maestro Eugene Muneyoshi Takahashi and the Lucidity Chamberistas.
As a chamber musician, Ayane has won multiple chamber music competitions including the 2019 Young Musicians Competition at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing Gabriel Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 1 at Alice Tully Hall. She was also invited by euphonist Demondrae Thurman, Chair of the Department of Brass at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, to perform alongside him and other brass musicians in Port Washington, NY. She has worked closely with notable chamber coaches such as Paul Kantor, Desmond Hoebig and Kathleen Winkler, and has participated in masterclasses with distinguished teachers and performers such as Roberto Plano, Jeremy Denk, Logan Skelton, Nina Lelchuk, Akiko Ebi and Marina Lomazov.