Yumeka Nakagawa was born in 2001 and won First Prize in age group III at national level of the 51st Jugend musiziert competition held in Braunschweig in 2014. Moreover, she was awarded a scholarship from the Carl Bechstein Foundation as she achieved the highest score (twenty-five points).
Talking about her life during a visit to the C. Bechstein Center in Düsseldorf, she underscored that younger siblings often take their cue from their elders and this was also the case for her. When her sister Yuna, who is two years older, started playing the piano, Yumeka wanted to imitate her and play the black-and-white keys. So at the age of four, she received her first piano lessons from Ayako Koyama. The talent of the two sisters quickly led them to more famous teachers: Yuna received lessons from Karl-Heinz Kämmerling in Hanover, who sadly passed away in 2012, while Yumeka started as a junior student at Düsseldorf’s Robert Schumann Hochschule in the same year, first under Professor Yumiko Maruyama and now under Professor Barbara Szczepanska, just like her older sister.
For Yumeka, playing the piano is a hobby, a passion and a challenge at the same time. Attending the high school in Meerbusch, she practices the piano between one and three hours a day, but of course with more or less motivation… Especially since she also takes bi-weekly lessons in rhythm, music theory and music history in addition to her piano lessons at school, so she hasn’t much time for hobbies, such as Japanese cooking.
The lofty goal of becoming a professional pianist requires not only talent, but also a lot of dedication. And many a prize — either at the Jugend musiziert competition, the Rotary Piano Competition for Youth held in Essen, the Van Bremen Competition in Dortmund, or the Rachmaninoff Competition in Frankfurt — boosted her motivation.
Yumeka has performed with various ensembles, including the Sinfonietta Köln, and was repeatedly invited to the Klavier-Festival Ruhr. As mentioned above, she won First Prize with the highest score at national level of the 2014 Jugend musiziert competition and was awarded a scholarship from the Carl Bechstein Foundation and a Special Prize from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben Foundation. In the same year, she won Second Prize in Category I (children up to 13 years) at the 4th International Franz Liszt Competition for Young Pianists in Weimar. Since 2015, she has been sponsored by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben Foundation and was a Carl Bechstein Foundation scholarship holder from 2014 to 2017. In 2018 she won the First Prize at the 5th International Jenö Takacs Piano Competition and in 2021 the 1st Prize endowed with 25,000 Swiss Francs, the Audience Prize as well as the Coup de Coeur Special Prize at the renowned International Clara Haskil Piano Competition.
We wish her all the best for her future and thank her for the successful time together.
(Last update: 2021)