September 14, 2007

Van Cliburn winner makes Sacramento State Piano Series grand

The crowd flipped for the new Hornet Bookstore during its Sept. 12 dedication. Jon Nakamatsu

Van Cliburn winner Jon Nakamatsu brings his talents to Sacramento State in December as part of the University’s prestigious Piano Series. Nakamatsu performs Thursday, Dec. 6.

In 1997, Nakamatsu won the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, considered by many to be the most prestigious classical piano contest in the world. He also was named “Debut Artist of the Year” in 1998 by National Public Radio’s Performance Today.

The series kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 13 with James Nalley, a Fulbright Scholar and summa cum laude graduate of Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music and the Eastman School of Music.

He’ll be followed by Milica Jelaca Jovanovic on Saturday, Nov. 17. Jovanovic has been described by one critic as “a pianist of great energy and charisma.” She earned her master’s degree at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow and her doctorate at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Concerts are at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall at Capistrano Hall. Tickets for Nakamatsu’s concert are $25 general admission and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets for Nalley and Jovanovic are $12 general admission and $10 for students and seniors.

The Piano Series was created 14 years ago by Sacramento State music professor Richard Cionco, who is its artistic director. “This year’s series of pianists is fabulous,” Cionco says. “I know that the students and the community are in for a wonderful season.”

A series subscription is available for the first time this year and includes the spring concerts of Pascal Roge and Natsuki Fukasawa. Cost is $75 general admission, a savings of $11. Students and senior tickets are $55. Tickets are available at the Sacramento State Ticket office, (916) 278-4323 or at

“The new subscription option is another step toward bettering the Piano Series and it demonstrates our gratitude to those who attend each season,” Cionco says. “Our series of piano recitals and master classes is unique in the Northern California region and has become the model for a new series in Los Angeles.”

For more information on the series, call the Music Department at (916) 278-5155. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.