Portrait of Nariaki Sugiura

Nariaki Sugiura

  • Associate Professor, Piano, Music
    • Piano / Collaborative Piano

Contact Info

Office Address

Hughes Fine Arts Center Room 204
3350 Campus Road Stop 7125
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7125


Music critics have raved about Nariaki Sugiura’s performances in Europe with such accolades as “the most sensitive touch on the piano,” and “possessing the rigueur, passion, and discipline of an old Samurai.” International concert artist Nariaki Sugiura has performed solo recitals and concerto engagements in the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia at some of the most prestigious concert halls including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall at Shenzhen Concert Hall (China), Ferenc Liszt Music Academy Recital Hall (Hungary), Daejeon Arts and Cultural Center Hall (South Korea), Manoel Theater (Malta), Kioi Hall (Japan), and Museo de Arte (Puerto Rico). He has appeared as soloist with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, UND Chamber Orchestra, and many others. His arrangements for chamber ensembles and piano ensembles have been frequently performed, and he has also conducted his ensemble arrangements.

A devoted teacher as well as performer, Dr. Sugiura has become of the leading piano pedagogues of his generation. He has given piano master classes at numerous institutions such as Civico Instituto Musicale “V. Baravalle” (Italy), Gheorghe Dima Music Academy (Romania), Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim (Germany), Xinghai Conservatory of Music (China), National Kaohsiung Normal University (Taiwan), Ewha Womens University and Sunhwa Arts High School (South Korea), Universitas Pelita Harapan (Indonesia), St. Paul’s College (Hong Kong), University of Minnesota, and many other music institutions around the world. Currently he is Associate Professor of Piano and Collaborative Piano at University of North Dakota while also holding visiting faculty position at East China Normal University in Shanghai. His students have received prizes and scholarships from local, regional, and national music competitions. Previously, he has taught at DePauw University, Indiana University, and Lamont Summer Pre-College Music Academy in Denver, and Guangdon University of Foreign Study in China. While he was at Indiana University, he worked for legendary cellist Janos Starker as a studio pianist. He has been an adjudicator for many national and international piano competitions in the US and Asia. 

Sugiura has recorded eight CD albums for such labels as Klavier Records, Eroica Classical Recordings, T. K. Music Productions and Indiana University Latin American Music Center. His performances have been featured on television and radio, broadcast nationally and internationally. Active as an editor, his editions of chamber music scores are published by Ludwig Masters Music Publications. 

A native of Japan, Nariaki Sugiura began piano studies with his mother at age five. Under the tutelage of Michel Block and Shigeo Neriki, he received his Masters and Doctor of Music in Piano Performance degrees from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Other prominent teachers include Alicia de Larrocha, Friedrich Schurr, Naomi Ebihara and Leonard Hokanson. He has won prizes at numerous competitions, including the 1999 and 2000 Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition Top Prizes. He was laureate of the 1993 National Music Competition in Tokyo and of the Annual Competition of Music from Spain and Latin America in 1999. 

Publications – Sound Recordings

2012    Vol. 2 – Piano de Pampa y Jungla - A Collection of Latin American Piano Music Indiana University Latin American Music Center.

2010    Piano Album - Live Recording. T. K. Music Productions.

2010    Cello Album – Love Songs. Yeon-Ji Yun, cello. T. K. Music Productions.

2008    Eleventh Annual Competition in the Performance of Music from Spain and Latin America. Yeon-Ji Yun, cello. Indiana University Latin American Music    


2007    Virtuoso Cello Encore.Joseph Kaizer, cello. Eroica Classical Recordings. (3374)

2006    Esencia-cello in the Panpas & the Caribbean, Emilio Colón, cello. Klavier Music Productions (K11143)

2003    Piano Solo Album. Nariaki Sugiura, piano. T. K. Music Productions.

2001    Canticum Novum: Sacred Vocal Music from the Late 20th CenturyAguavá New Music Ensemble, Carmen Téllez, conductor. Aguavá New Music Studio.  

1999    Second Annual Competition in the Performance of Music from Spain and Latin America. Indiana University Latin American Music Center. 

Publications – Video Recordings

2013    12 Spanish Dances “Andaluza” by Enrique Granados. Recorded at North Dakota Museum of Arts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLnjr1NScBU

2007    La Muerte del Angelby Astor Piazzolla. Recorded at Tu TV “Cultura Viva” San Juan, Puerto Rico. Broadcasted on 5/16/2007. 

Publications - Sheet Music    (http://www.masters-music.com)

2009    Serge Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata Op.19 G minor. Ludwig Masters Music Publications (M4111)

2006    César Franck: Sonata for Cello and Piano A major. Ludwig Masters Music Publications (M3938)

2005    Charles-Valentin Alkan: Cello Sonata Op. 47. Ludwig Masters Music Publications (M3839)

2004    Ernesto Lecuona: Danzas Afro-Cubanas for Vc and Pno. Ludwig Masters Music Publications (M3752)

2016    Honorary Advisory Board Member, Peking University Affiliated High School – Beijing, CHINA

2015    Kanuma Cultural Ambassador, Kanuma Board of Education – Kanuma, JAPAN

2014    Visiting Professor, East China Normal University – Shanghai, CHINA

2013    Advisory Board Member and Guest Faculty, Jiangyin Royal Piano Art – Jiangyin, CHINA

2013    Gold Note Award, Grand Forks Thursday Music Club – Grand Forks, ND

2012    Visiting Professor, Guangdon University of Foreign Study – Guangzhou, CHINA

2010    Visiting Piano Teacher, Shenzhen Yichao Music Educating Center – Shenzhen, CHINA

2011    DM, Indiana University – Bloomington, IN (Piano Performance, Minor in Music Theory)

2002    MM, Indiana University – Bloomington, IN (Piano Performance, cognate in conducting)

2000    BM, Indiana University – Bloomington, IN (Piano Performance)

1997    Academie de Musique Tibor Varga– Sion, SWITZERLAND (Piano) 

1994    HS Diploma, Tokyo College of Music High School – Tokyo, JAPAN (Piano Performance)

2011-Present    University of North Dakota Music Department – Grand Forks, ND

                       Associate Professor, 2017-present / Assistant Professor, 2011-2017

2007-2011       DePauw University School of Music – Greencastle, IN

                       Assistant Professor / Staff Accompanist, 2008-2011 / Staff Accompanist, 2007-2008

2000-2008       Indiana University Jacobs School of Music – Bloomington, IN

                       Studio Pianist for Janos Starker, 2006-2008

                       String Academy Staff Accompanist, 2001-2008

                       Adjunct Lecturer, Spring 2006 / Assistant Instructor, 2000-2005

Additional Experience

2015-2018       Piano Faculty, Federal University of Santa Maria Int’l Winter Festival - Vale Veneto, BRAZIL

2015 & 2017    Piano Faculty, International Music Camp in Peace Garden - Dunseith, ND 

2010 & 2011    Piano Faculty, Lamont School of Music Summer Pre-College Academy – Denver, CO

2008 June        Staff Accompanist, Madison Summer Cello Institute – Madison, WI

2007 June        Staff Accompanist, Round Top International Festival-Institute – Round Top, TX