Kaito Nakahori | Photo: Kaito Nakahori
Kaito Nakahori was born in Japan on September 14, 1989 and began to study piano and composition at an early age. While attending college in Japan, he became interested in contemporary music and debuted as a composer at the age of twenty-two with Cracked 1 - at riverside for violin and cello at his portrait concert in Tokyo.
Nakahori’s music has been described as an authentic and elegant mix of Western and Eastern music, characterized by a timeless atmosphere. Of his piece Japanese Footbridge for koto and chamber ensemble, Harry Rolnick wrote: “The music had the misty feeling of Japanese gagaku music, court music so regal that it seems static, with only the colors changing”.
He has won numerous awards and prizes, including the Brian M. Israel Prize, and commissioned pieces by him have been performed in the United States, France, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Argentina, Colombia, Hong Kong, China and Japan by musicians such as Aki Takahashi, Mari Kimura, Mayumi Miyata and Toshiya Suzuki, and ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra and Senzoku New Philharmonic Orchestra. His works have been presented at various venues, including the Boston Early Music Festival and Nuova Consonanza, Suntory Hall, Merkin Hall, Jordan Hall, Sala Radio Hall, Caroline H. Hume Hall and the Hong Kong Culture Centre. His first portrait concert in the United States, Music for Peace, was held at the United Nations in May 2015.
He has given many lectures and master classes, including at the Japan Cultural Institute in Rome, the National University of Colombia and Hiroshima City University. He has also worked as the artistic director for film festivals and as a conductor. Huang Yin-Yu's film After Spring, the Tamaki Family, for which Nakahori composed the score, was nominated as best documentary at the 2016 Taipei Film Awards.
Kaito Nakahori received degrees from San Francisco Conservatory of Music (MM) and from Toho College of Music (BM with distinction). He currently works at an entertainment company in New York.
“Hotarubi” for hichiriki, violin, viola, cello and double bass
© public domain
“‘Hotarubi’ means the light of a firefly. Fireflies have a long history in Japanese culture. Since the eighth century, this insect has been believed to be a sign of passionate love and the souls of the dead.
Just like the beloved cherry blossoms of spring, fireflies are a fleeting sight in Japan, lighting up the nights during the few short days of their lives. We tend to look for the beauty in the short-lived insect, a moment of brilliance.
In this piece with Japanese Hichiriki and strings, I would like delicately to draw aesthetic attention to this pale light.”