UNK Pianist Takes Top Honors in MTNA Young Artists State Competition

Dr. Nathan Buckner
of Music and Performing Arts, 308-865-8608

Akina Yura, a music performance major at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, took top honors at the Music Teachers National Association Young Artists competition in Omaha last weekend.

Yura, who is from Japan, is a sophomore piano student studying with Dr. Nathan Buckner, UNK associate professor of music. Dr. Buckner, a graduate of the Juilliard School, said of Yura’s accomplishments, “The students and faculty of the music department are all very proud of Akina and her achievement. Personally, I am honored to have her as a piano student.” Yura competed against 11 other pianists from Nebraska colleges and universities.

For the competition, she performed Toccata in C minor  by Bach, Fantasy in F minor by Chopin and Ginastera’s First Piano Sonata. Yura will compete at the regional level against the other West Central Division winners in January. Winning pianists from  Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota will compete at the regional level.

The Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) is more than a century old. The organization’s mission, according to their Web site, is to advance the value of music study and music making to society, and to support the professionalism of music teachers.