Nao (Mikihiro) Nozu has been principal flute of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra since 1995. After previously serving in the same position in the Lappeenranta City Orchestra in Finland from 1990 to 1994. His mentors include William Bennett, Geoffrey Gilbert, and Thomas Nyfenger. Nozu first graduated from Toho Gakuen College of Music in Tokyo before going on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he obtained a Recital Diploma - the school"s highest award - and then obtained a Master of Music degree from Yale University. In 1991, he won 2nd prize at the NFA Young Artist Competition in Washington, D.C.
In 2004, he premiered Hisatada Otaka"s "Concerto for flute and orchestra, Op. 30b" with the Lappeenranta City Orchestra.
Nozu served as a lecturer at the Toho-Gakuen School of Music from 2003 to 2006, and was a guest tutor at the Stratford International Flute Festival in the U.K. in 2007, and at the Tai Shan International Music Camp in China in 2018.
Nozu currently holds teaching positions at the Soai College of Music Osaka, Osaka International Takii High School, Suma-Gakuen High School, and Oita High School. He is also a member of the juries for the Student Music concours of Japan and the Japan Flute Convention Competition, and is a committee member of the Japan Flute Association and the Asia Flutists Federation. In 2010, Nozu was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM).