Naoko Nakamura, principal harpist of the Dallas Winds, joined the faculty of SMU Meadows School of the Arts Division of Music in fall 2013 as adjunct assistant professor of harp. Since 1998, she has maintained an active performing and teaching schedule (including conducting master classes) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Her students have received top prizes at national and regional competitions including the American Harp Society National Competition.
In April 2014, she performed the world premiere of Concerto for Harp and Flute by Damian Montano with the Dallas Winds. She is an active chamber musician, having appeared at the “Cliburn at the Modern” series, the Fine Arts Chamber Players in Dallas, the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth and the Chamber Music in the Galleries at the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art. Nakamura appears frequently as an assistant principal and substitute principal with the symphony orchestras of Dallas and Fort Worth and has performed with orchestras in Honduras, Japan and Peru. She has accompanied several famous world-class vocal and instrumental soloists throughout the country.
At the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, she earned a Bachelor of Music in Performance for both harp and piano under the tutelages of the renowned harp pedagogue Alice Chalifoux; founder and director of the American Youth Harp Ensemble and Academy of Music Lynnelle Edigar-Kordzaia; and Professor of Piano Haewon Song. She received a Master of Music in Harp Performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University under the direction of Paula Page, former principal harpist of the Houston Symphony. She has also spent numerous summers at the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine, and participated in music festivals including the Round Top Music Festival and the National Repertoire Orchestra.
Most recently, she was invited to give master classes by the Interlochen Arts Academy, the American Youth Harp Ensemble Summer Institute and Texas Christian University. She has been a devoted member of the Texas Winds Music Outreach since 2003 and has performed for visiting dignitaries on behalf of the Japan America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth.
B.M. Performance/Harp and Piano, Oberlin Conservatory
M.M. in Harp Performance, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University