Pianist surprises students


Del Mar Hills Academy students, parents and grandparents were recently treated to an impromptu concert by renowned pianist and composer, Tempei Nakamura.

Nakamura was in Del Mar visiting friends whose children attend the Academy, and agreed to perform in the Del Mar Hills Performing Arts Center for any families and who were available on short notice. The school sent out an email the night before the concert, and all who were fortunate enough to attend were swept away by Nakamura’s awe-inspiring original compositions and brilliant technique.

Nakamura’s musical career developed in an unusual way, and his story provides inspiration for others.

Born in 1980 in Kobe, Japan, he started playing piano at age 5, but stopped in his early teens. As his biography states, “he was rebelling against the school system, brawled often and stayed out of social rules.” When he was 14, the Great Hanshin Earthquake hit and destroyed his family home. He dropped out of high school and spent his days working in physical labor, mostly doing demolition.

At age 17, he was ready to make dramatic changes in his life. The only thing he still had passion for was music. He returned to studying music and the piano, graduating with top honors from the Osaka University of Arts in 2004.