B i o g r a p h y
AKIRA NAKANO grew up at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in both piano and percussion, soloing with numerous orchestras throughout Southern California as a youngster. He studied with Dr. Heewon Kwon with master classes from Jeffrey Kahane, Leon Fleischer, Ilana Vered, John Perry and Daniel Pollack. He was the winner of the 1st Annual Herbert Zipper Award in Music Composition amongst other piano competitions. Entering UCLA on a full ride piano performance scholarship, he won the UCLA Concerto Competition and graduated with a B.A. in Film & Television production.
Akira spent twelve years working as a video editor, writer, producer and live event director at TRW and went on to have 20+ years of video marketing and communications experience. He oversaw & scored several independent films along the way. In 2002, he wrote and produced the play, "A Concerto for Claire" which premiered at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School in 2002. He was the Music Director and on-stage pianist for Lodestone Theatre Ensemble's "Closer Than Ever" (L.A. Times Critics' Choice) in 2009 and resumed classical piano full time the following year.
Akira returned to the Zipper Hall stage in March 2012 in a solo recital accompanied by Michael Sushel. In September 2013, Akira Nakano paired with the Dream Orchestra in a concert of Liszt, Rachmaninov and several original works. Since then, he appeared as a performer/lecturer as part of the Great Speaker Series at the Beach Club in Santa Monica benefiting the California State Parks Foundation; soloed with the Southeast Symphony on their "American Legacy" concert; and made a series of appearances at the Huntington Library President's house for their donor dinners.
Akira's ebook, I DON'T HATE PRACTICE, was released in November 2018, rewritten from an earlier book to discuss creativity in composition and the arts.
Akira founded the Los Angeles Inception Orchestra in 2017 and is thrilled to be combining his love of classical piano & composition and his producing skills in spearheading the organization. He led their debut concert in 2019 premiering his orchestration of "Pictures at an Exhibition". In 2020, he produced and moderated their 12-hour virtual conference.
Akira has been invited on multiple podcasts including Creative Innovators and Innovating Music, both with Dr. Gigi Johnson; and has been a panelist at Digital Hollywood in 2019 in addition to SXSW EDU and Amplify Music in 2021.
He is grateful to everyone who has made Inception the success that it has become.