"Half Chinese, half Japanese, young gifted composer."
− 晶报 (Daily Sunshine) / China
"The music had the misty feeling of Japanese gagakumusic, court music so regal, that it seems static, only the colors changing. Mr. Nakahori blended his instruments with such impeccable taste, that the entire blend could have had a lulling, a mesmeric feeling on the listener.”
− Harry Rolnick (Music critic) / US
"Nakahori is remarkable young composer who has acute sensitivity, and creating his artistic world beyond the border and many cultures”
− Mari Kimura (Violinist, Composer) / US
"Nakahori's philosophical thought delivers the suspension of time and the density of each sound until the last note"
− Paco Yáñez (Music critic) / Spain
"Nakahori's piece was one of the best tonight. His work is impressively ritualistic."
− Amfion pro musica classica / Finland
"Japanese composer who is successful abroad - His works have enthusiasm."
− MOSTLY CLASSIC / Japan
"The journey back to the roots of existence (About Opera Zero)"
− Kobe Shimbun / Japan
"Makes you feel the events of recollection in human life with fragility. (About String Quartet Abyss)"
− Nobuyuki Kakigi (Music critic) / Japan
"Nakahori is a composer with a unique meditative world. His lush sound, like a freshly picked fruit, heralds the arrival of an Oriental composer of a new era."
− Toshio Hosokawa (Composer) / Japan
Kaito Nakahori was born in 1989 in Japan. He began composing at the age of 14 when Toru Takemitsu's music made a great impression on him. He is currently based in New York and Tokyo.
Toshio Hosokawa described Kaito Nakahori's music as "Nakahori is a composer who has a unique meditative world, and his music has a fascinating tone color, which is perceived as "Oriental" to the Occidental ear. It brings to mind not an ancient Orient, but rather a new sophisticated world. His lush sound, like a freshly picked fruit, heralds the arrival of an Oriental composer of a new era”, Paco Yáñez described his music as "Nakahori pursues the depth of the sound by combining interweaved tone colors. Nakahori's philosophical thought delivers the suspension of time and the density of each sound until the last note", and Harry Rolnick described his piece, Japanese Footbridge for koto and chamber ensemble, as "The music had the misty feeling of Japanese gagakumusic, court music so regal, that it seems static, only the colors changing. Mr. Nakahori blended his instruments with such impeccable taste, that the entire blend could have had a lulling, a mesmeric feeling on the listener." Thus, the fusion of nature and the mental world is often a major theme of his composition, and his style called “Timeless Music”, which is freed from the sense of time, presents an original way of music.
In 2015, his portrait concert was held at the United Nations in New York, when he conducted and presented his pieces including Summit of Mt. Fuji, and was a huge success. Since then, Hotarubi commissioned by Goethe Institut in 2017, Samon commissioned by Kyoto Art Center in 2018, Two Different Paintings commissioned by Tokyo Bunka Kaikan at the 150th anniversary concert of Japan and Hungary diplomatic relations in 2019, Theater Opera Zero (the original text and staging by Oriza Hirata) commissioned by Toyooka Theater Festival in 2020, Live Electronics Opera Countless Wells (Co-production with IRCAM) commissioned by Fondation Royaumont in 2021, Abyss (dedicated to Arditti Quartet) commissioned by Takefu International Music Festival in 2022 and many other pieces have been gained a good reputation internationally as a contemporary composer.
He has won numerous prizes, including Brian M. Israel Prize (2016) and 1st Prize at Impronta Ensemble Composition Competition (2019). His works have been performed worldwide by Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Mandolin Orchestra Guild, Ensemble Dal Niente, Meitar Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Francesco D'Orazio, Aki Takahashi, Mari Kimura, Mayumi Miyata, Toshiya Suzuki, Tatsuki Narita, Jessica (Ngatari) at Mani-Fest (Centre Pompidou), Boston Early Music Festival, Nuova Consonanza, Maison de la Radio France, Suntory Hall, Kyoto Concert Hall, Merkin Hall, Jordan Hall, Sala Radio Hall, Caroline H. Hume Hall, Hong Kong Culture Center, Radio Nacional Cordoba.
He has served as an invited composer and jury member of the competition for the Rosetta Ensemble in 2018, Composer-in-Residence for Khemia Ensemble in 2015-2016, and the conductor for the Hai-Dao Ensemble in 2014. He has given composition lectures at The Japan Cultural Institute in Rome, National University of Colombia, Takefu International Music Festival, Tokyo College of Music and Hiroshima City University. In 2016, Huang Yin-Yu's film After Spring, the Tamaki Family…, for which he composed music, was nominated for many film festivals, including Taipei Film Awards. His wide range activities also include releasing the ambient music album Mythologies (2017) by French label IKKI, and the collaboration concert with Ikebana Sekiso-ryu Iemoto Seihou Okudaira at the Okura Tokyo in 2023.
< Education >
2014. 5 San Francisco Conservatory of Music - Scholarship / Master of Music
2012. 3 Toho College of Music - Top of the list / Bachelor of Music
< Award >
2019. 8 “Yaeyama Hirugi” 1st Prize at Impronta Ensemble Composition Competition (Mannheim, Germany)
2016. 6 “Zero (1st aria)” Brian M. Israel Prize (New York, US)
2014. 4 “Deliberation” The 15th TIAA Composer's Competition - Shorei Award (Tokyo, Japan)
2012. 4 “Leading to the paradise” Senzoku Contemporary Music Composition Competition - Senzoku Award (Kanagawa, Japan)
2011. 4 “Mizu no iro” The 9th Hirosaki Sakura no Sono Composition Competition - 3rd place (Hirosaki-shi, Japan)
< Major Commission >
2022. 9 “Shroud of the Rain” Mandolin Orchestra Guild / Kyoto Concert Hall (Japan)
2022. 9 “Abyss” Arditti Quartet / Takefu International Music Festival (Fukui, Japan)
2021. 8 “Countless Wells” IRCAM / Fondation Royaumont (Royaumont Abbey, France)
2020. 9 “Zero (Opera, text:Oriza Hirata)” Toyooka Theater Festival (Toyooka Citizen's Hall, Japan)
2019. 3 “Two Different Paintings” Tokyo Bunka Kaikan - The 150th Anniversary of Japan-Hungary Diplomatic Relations (Japan)
2018. 3 “Passing Shower” Mupa Festival 2018 (Burapha university, Thailand)
2018. 2 “Sand Ripples” Rosetta Ensemble / Kyoto Art Center (Japan)
2017.11 “Pile of Timber” Přemysl Vojta Horn Trio Japan Tour (Nagoya / Tokyo / Fukushima)
2017. 9 “Meigetsu” Takefu International Music Festival - Invited Composer (Fukui, Japan)
2017. 6 “Yozakura” Duo YUMENO / Kōshō-ji Temple (Kyoto, Japan)
2017. 4 “Hotarubi” Goethe Institut / Tongyeong International Music Festival (Germany / South Korea)
2016. 9 “Block City” Musitravel Vol. 7 / Nihon-Bashi Kokaido (Tokyo, Japan)
2015. 8 “Zero (1st aria)” Khemia Ensemble South America Tour (Argentina / Colombia)
2015. 6 “Zen in Kyudo - Concentration” Boston Early Music Festival (US)
2014.12 “Suigetsu” Yukino Ichikawa / Electone City Shibuya (Tokyo, Japan)
2014.12 “Cracked - Passionate” Yusuke Satoh / Suntory Hall (Tokyo, Japan)
2014. 3 “Hyle” International Percussion Music Radio Festival / Sala Radio Hall (Bucharest, Romania)
2013.11 “Hidden Instincts” Aki Takahashi / The Japan Cultural Institute in Rome (Italy)
2011. 5 “it can’ t be helped...” Kosuke Hashizume / Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles (Belgium)
< Lecture, Masterclass, Exhibition >
2022. 9 Takefu International Music Festival - Composition Workshop Faculty (Fukui, Japan)
2022. 4 Tokyo College of Music - Composition Lecture (Japan)
2019.11 Mirai Shimin - Classical Music History Lecture (Kitano circus, Kobe, Japan)
2016. 5 Hiroshima City University - Contemporary Music History Lecture (Japan)
2016. 4 Toho College of Music - Film Scoring Lecture (Saitama, Japan)
2015. 8 National University of Colombia - Composition Masterclass (Bogotá, Colombia)
2015. 8 National University of Córdoba - Composition Masterclass (Córdoba, Argentina)
2014.7-8 Exhibition at Mt.Fuji museum (Mt. Fuji Museum, Yamanashi, Japan)
2013.11 The Japan Cultural Institute in Rome / Symposium Speaker on Japanese music (Italy)
< Music Direction, Composer in Residence, Judge >
2018. 2 Rosetta Ensemble "Undefined Space" / Judge for Call for Scores (Kyoto Art Center, Japan)
2016. 6 "After Spring, the Tamaki Family... (Huang Yin-Yu’ s film)” - Music Director / Composer (Taiwan / Japan)
2015. 5 - 2016. 5 Khemia Ensemble - Composer in Residence (University of Michigan, US)
2015.12 SOUND OF PEACE - Artistic Director (United Nations, New York, US)
2015. 9 Japan Block Fair - Music Director (US)
2014.10 - 2015. 7 Hai-Dao Ensemble - Artistic Director (Merkin Hall, New York, US)
2014.12 Shenzhen International Micro-Film Festival - Presenter (Shenzhen, China)
2014.10 Shenzhen International Micro-Film Festival / United Nations Launching Ceremony - Artistic Director (United Nations, New York, US)
2014.10 Hai-Dao Ensemble Debut / Artistic Director (Jordan Hall, Boston, US)
2014. 9 A-EN Composers Project 4th concert - Artistic Director (Shizuoka, Japan)
2013.12 A-EN Composers Project 3rd concert - Artistic Director (Tokyo, Japan)
2011. 4 “Haiyu no shiawase (Keizai to H’s theater)” - Music Director / Composer (Tokyo, Japan)
< Album >
2015. 5 “Mythologies” - Ambient Music Album by IKKI (France)
< Portrait Concert >
2015. 5 Kaito Nakahori Portrait Concert 2015 at United Nations (New York, US)
2012. 8 The 3rd Koten portrait Concert (Tokyo, Japan)
2011.12 The 2nd Koten portrait Concert (Tokyo, Japan)
2011. 7 The 1st Koten portrait Concert (Tokyo, Japan)