Makoto Nakura, marimba; Academy for Performing Arts; June 6 Does the world have room for two extraordinary marimba players? The more celebrated Evelyn Glennie played last night, but Makoto Nakura, the first marimba player to win New York's Young Concert Artists Prize, is easily in the Glennie class. The Kobe-born artist does have a problem, though. No matter how brilliant an artist he is, Nakura refuses to patronise his audience. He is never 'popular' and even a one-hour recital is difficult, esoteric, and not to everybody's taste. In fact, the only familiar work was his own transcription of a Bach violin partita. For Nakura, the Bach was practically a good-hearted offering to traditional taste. True, Nakura has claimed to be able to transcribe virtually any work for marimba. But trying to reproduce the vibratos and tone colours of a Bach violin piece on the marimba calls for special treatment. The opening Prelude was played with a delicate violin touch. But the slower Loure called for changing the scales up and down, rather than trying to imitate the violin on his percussion instrument. Yet somehow it all came together. And in the final dance movements, his two or three contrasting themes, played at one time, became as transparent as on a string instrument. The rest of the concert was uncompromisingly 20th century. The Paganini Personal by Toshi Ichyanagi - with incredible piano accompaniment by Shirley Ip - was, yes that caprice, done with tour de force brilliance. The same for Takemitsu's work with alto flute - Nakura's own transcription and some uncharacteristic elegiac writing by the late composer. Most exciting was the late Yoshio Hachimura's Ahania, a study in tonal mood, timbre and contrasts. The final Canyon was five minimalist movements, with the marimba player virtually singing his way through the liquid themes and variations. Nakura is, quite simply, an astonishing musician, his unusual instrument only a contrivance to produce the most extreme works of art.