Derek Rikio Nishimura began piano studies in Honolulu, Hawaii. There, he won the Hawaii Young Artist Competition, resulting in his debut with the Honolulu Symphony.

He is an advocate for new music and has given world premieres by Irby Trimble, Alan Shaw, and Icelandic piano music at the Cleveland Museum of Art. His solo concerts have taken him to Austria, England, Italy, China, Japan, Korea and throughout the United States. 

Nishimura's students have won numerous competitions and have soloed with The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic, Case Western Reserve Symphony, Lakeland Civic Orchestra, Suburban Symphony, Akron Youth Symphony and Western Reserve Symphony.


  • BM and MM, Cleveland Institute of Music; studied with Olga Radosavljevich, Paul Schenly and Vitya Vronsky Babin
  • Additional teachers include Pascal Devoyon, Johana Harris, Eugen Indjic, Noël Lee, Thomas Schumacher and Nelita True
  • Additional studies:
    • Vienna Hochschule für Musik
    • Royal College of Music in London, England
    • The Juilliard School and Mannes College in New York
    • University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada
    • Paris Conservatoire

Teaching Experience

  • Cleveland Institute of Music (1986–present)
    • CIM's preparatory summer program, Camp Klavier
    • Kinhaven Chamber Music Camp in Weston, Vermont