Pianist Akina Yura has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and her native Japan. A strong advocate of the music of Japanese composer Mutsuo Shishido, Yura has presented programs of his works around the world. Her debut CD, Mutsuo Shishido Complete Works for Piano, has been published by MSR Classics. This world première recording has been praised as “I cannot imagine a better advocate for this music than the wonderful young pianist Akina Yura… Much of this music requires fingers of steel and great agility, and Yura pours it on” (Peter Burwasser, Fanfare). “Everything on the CD is a world première recording, and everything is handled by Yura with sensitivity…” (Mark J. Estren, InfoDad).
She has appeared as a guest performer for the Pianodrom International Piano Festival in Albania and as a collaborative pianist for the Castleman Quartet Program, and SUNY Albany Performing Arts Center Concert Series, and St. Rose Camerata concert series. She has been a prize-winner of numerous piano competitions, including the New Orleans Piano Institute Solo and Concerto Competitions, Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition, and Brevard Piano Competition. As a soloist, she has most recently appeared with New Orleans Civic Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor.
Akina has trained with notable piano teachers, including Santiago Rodriguez, Edward Auer, Nathan Buckner, Shigeo Neriki, Yoko Shibamoto, Mikhail Volchok, Mayumi Takai, Tomoko Yano, and Naomi Kato. She holds Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Keyboard Performance and Presser Award from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where she graduated with academic merit and served as a Teaching Assistant while attending under full-scholarship. She holds Master of Music degree in Piano from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. where she also attended under full-scholarship with Associate Instructor position in the piano department. She completed Bachelor of Music in piano performance degree from the University of Maryland at College Park with cum laude.
Akina’s repertoire includes standard classical repertoire to rarely heard works that deserve attention to the wider audience. In 2015, she and her colleagues founded Kaleidoscope MusArt, inc., a non-profit organisation to present and promote classical music and pursues a valuable place of classical music in modern society, especially in Miami metropolitan area. She regularly performs in their concert series, besides continuing to serve as a member of the artistic executive director as well as a treasurer.
An avid teacher, Akina continues to pursue the art of pedagogy. With her Doctoral degree, she studied and obtained her cognate in Piano Pedagogy under Naoko Takao. She has has been a master clinician, lecturer, and adjudicator for piano auditions and competitions, besides keeping her active teaching activites. Currently, she is on the faculty at the College of Saint Rose (Albany, NY), the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), and SUNY Schenectady Community College (Schenectady, NY). She also holds an private studio for pre-college students. Previously, she served as a member of the piano faculty at The Music Studio (Albany, NY), the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music Preparatory Program (Coral Gables, FL), New Mozart School of Music (Palo Alto, CA), and the Frost Young Musicians Camp (Coral Gables, FL). She is proud that her students are striving performers, and many have been prizewinners of local and international competitions, and numbers pursue their career in music.