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Japanese-American violinist, Heihachiro (Tommy) Nakashima, has distinguished himself as a passionate performer and teacher. Dr. Nakashima started his musical journey at the age of four and quickly made a name for himself in the musical community, playing in local orchestras and chamber ensembles. Upon arrival to the United States in 1999, he studied with violinists Linda Sickles and Sarah Johnson. Some orchestral highlights include an apprenticeship at the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, a member of the Empire Film Music Ensemble, a substitute for the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Symphoria, and he also serves as the assistant principal second violinist of the Lyrica Chamber Orchestra.

Dr. Nakashima is also very dedicated to chamber music and is active in the vibrant classical music scenes of New York, Boston, South Carolina, and Miami. He has made appearances at prestigious festivals such as Charles Castleman’s Quartet Program and Laura Bossert’s LyricaFest. In addition, he has been a featured soloist on the Civic Morning Musicals Series at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY, and collaborated with renowned artists such as the Hausmann, Villiers, and Clinton String Quartets, violinists William Preucil and Laura Bossert, and Grammy Award Nominee cellist, Terry King.

Dr. Nakashima was a semifinalist in the Schmidbauer International Young Artist Competition, and he has also won both the ASTA and MTNA Solo Competitions for South Carolina. His first professional concerto debut was with the GAMAC Orchestra in 2009, and more recently, he won the Syracuse University Concerto Competition in 2018. Other accomplishments include being chosen as "Best Performer" of the National Federation of Music Clubs of Converse College for nine years consecutively and being the recipient of the Irene Lewis Crooker Music Award and the Simon Popov Memorial Award for Outstanding Orchestral Musician at Syracuse University.

Dr. Nakashima earned a B.M. at the Eastman School of Music and an M.M. at the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. While in Syracuse, he served as concertmaster of the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra and an orchestral graduate assistant. He was fortunate to have studied with perhaps the best and most sought-after musicians of our time, the legendary Charles Castleman, world-renowned violinist, Laura Bossert, and esteemed pedagogue, Terry King. Dr. Nakashima earned his D.M.A. at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, with a full scholarship as a Henry Mancini Institute Fellow, under Charles Castleman in the fall of 2021. Recently in Miami, he served as concertmaster of the Frost Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gerard Schwarz, and Ensemble Ibis, conducted by Christopher Theofanidis and Shawn Crouch. Featured works include Bruckner Symphony No.4 and "A Thousand Cranes" respectively. Additionally, he was invited to tour with Bad Bunny on his Most Wanted tour in 2024. Dr. Nakashima was a Teaching Assistant for Charles Castleman and the Henry Mancini Institute from 2020-2021. He plays on a Lorenzo and Tomaso Carcassi 1784 violin.

Dr. Nakashima is an avid swimmer, a two-time MVP, a two-time All-Conference swimmer, and a three-time Captain of the Spartanburg Day School Swim Team.

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