Winning the first prize in the Australian Singing Competition in 1990 marked the beginning of an international career for the Japanese soprano Akiko Nakajima. In quick succession there followed her debut for Opera Australia and her European debut at the "Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli".
She then embarked on an international career as both opera and concert singer. She made her Austrian debut in the title role of Händel's Alcina for Innsbruck's Festwochen der Alten Musik - A production that was awarded by the European Broadcasting Union. Her sensational triumph as Lucia di Lammermoor at the Staatstheater Darmstadt led her to the nomination as the best new generation singer of the year by the Opernwelt magazine in 1999.
Her stunning debut as Sonja in "Der Zarewitsch" at the Vienna Volksoper in 1999 was followed by other successes: as Violetta in "La Traviata", Anne in "The Rake's Progress", Annina in "Eine Nacht in Venedig". In 2007 she made her debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Donna Fiorilla in "Il Turco in Italia". At the same time, her career has continued to develop in Japan where she frequently appears with various symphony orchestras as well as opera institutions.
Among the celebrated conductors with whom she has appeared are Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Herbert Blomstedt, Charles Dutoit, Kazushi Ono, Myung-Whun Chung and Thomas Hengelbrock.
Akiko Nakajima's first solo CD "La Pastorella" (PR90647) was nominated for the Deutschen Schallplattenkritik list. "Female Portraits" (PR90691), was followed by another recording, "Plaisir d'amour" (CDS556) from an Italian Label "Dynamic" in 2008. A DVD recording of a live concert of Britten's "Midsummer Night's Dream" with Seiji Ozawa was documented by NHK Enterprise in 2009. In early 2011, much awaited operetta CD, "Wien, Stadt meiner Träume" (Gramola 98908) was recorded in Musikverein by the Viennese label, Gramola.
Highlights of her recent engagements include a newly commissioned opera written for her voice, "Taki no Shiraito" by the Ishikawa Music Foundation, as well as the artistic leader position for a new festival, "Mozarthaus in Japan 2014" at Otemachi Hall in Tokyo. Coming up schedule include her stage production, "Mugen-Noh Pierrot Lunaire" at Sion Festival in Switzerland in August 2016 and OEK (Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa) production of opera "Madama Butterfly" in 2017 in Japan.
Akiko Nakajima is the general director of the Gunma Opera Academy "Noura-Juku", and artistic advisor for the Mozarthaus Vienna. From 2016 she is working as lecturer in the faculty of Performing Arts - "Voice and Opera" at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna (MUK).