Rei Nakamura was born in Tokyo, Japan. At the age of three, she moved to Limeira, Brazil, where she began to study piano, winning many national competitions, including the Concurso Nacional Tarde da Juventude, Concurso Nacional Artlivre, Concurso Nacional Cidade de Araçatuba, and Concurso Nacional Magda Tagliaferro. She moved to Germany to continue her studies with James Avery at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, and with Yukiko Sugawara-Lachenmann and Dr. Andreas Wagner at the Hochschule des Saalandes für Musik und Theater, where, for her postgraduate studies, she majored in contemporary music, graduating with first-class honours in June 2005. She was invited to the Nachwuchsforum of Ensemble Modern in 2006 and won the Kranichsteiner Stipendiumpreis at the 45th Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt.
Despite having an education focussed on classical music, she does not limit her interests to the classics of the repertoire, but is particularly focussed on the development of new forms of art, on or beyond the boundaries of what has traditionally been considered ‘music’. Her work and interests, thus, foster an eclectic approach, which leads her to work not only with composers, but also with visual artists, dancers, and actors. Her improvisation project for piano and live electronics with the artist Peter Vogel (*1937) began in 2003.
Since then, they have performed regularly as a duo and have been invited to many important festivals in Europe, including Ars Nova, the Südwestrundfunk, and Tastentage in Leipheim.
Since completing her studies, Nakamura has devised a number of concept-driven projects, which have been presented in festivals across Europe and Asia. Her current project, Movement to sound―sound to Movement, for piano, electronics, and video began in 2007. This project won the support of Humbolt Stiftung (Goethe Institut Quito), Deutscher Musikrat and Arts Council England and now in its fifth year, and has attracted a number of new composers, currently at work on pieces to be premiered as a part of the project.
As well as concerts specifically devoted to her own projects, Nakamura makes regular appearances to Festivals such as the Theatre Nacional Luxembourg, Usinesonore (Switzerland) and Festival Piano+, ZKM (Karlsruhe) and is as well frequently invited to be a guest at various international festivals including Klangwerkstatt Berlin, Ars Nova SWR (Rottemburg), FGNM (Frankfurt), Arts Birthday Party (Schweden), Festival de Música Contemporanea Quito ( Ecuador) and Kulturhauptstadt Luxemburg. In addition, her concerts have been frequently recorded for radio broadcasts, including Saarländische Rundfunk, Sverige Radio (Schweden), Radio Bremen, WDR, Deutschlandradio and SWR.