Hikari Nakamura won the Open section of the Nth Qld Concerto & Vocal Competition (now the Australian Concerto & Vocal Competition). She was then studying under Max Olding @ Qld Conservatorium of Music, Brisbane and performed the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto at 9am on a Sunday morning. The adjudicator was none other than our dear friend the late Professor John Hopkins OBE. It was after this amazing performance to an audience of no more than five people (including the adjudicator!) that the decision was made to make the Open Section into two stages, a Preliminary Stage, and then a grand finals concert with five finalists chosen to compete for the major prizes.
Hikari is presently teaching at The Preucil School of Music in Iowa, USA, a school specializing in the Suzuki Method. Japanese born Hikari won the very first Secondary Schools Concerto competition conducted by the KPO and returned to be a Finals adjudicator in 2008 for their 25th anniversary celebrations. Hikari continues to have a successful teaching and performing career in the United States.