TOSHIYUKI SHIMADA, a conductor in much demand because of his wide range of
experiences and of vital services to his community where he conducts, is Music Director
of three orchestras: the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut, the
Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes in New York and the Yale Symphony Orchestra
of Yale University. Since 1998, he has also served as Principal Conductor of the Vienna
Modern Masters record label in Austria. He is also Music Director Laureate of Portland
Symphony Orchestra, in Portland, Maine, for which he served as Music Director from
1986 to 2006. Prior to his Portland engagement, he was Associate Conductor of the
Houston Symphony for six years, beginning in 1981.
This season, he will continue to be active with his three orchestras and teaching duty at
Yale University, as well as guest conducting engagements, including Bilkent Symphony
Orchestra in Ankara, Turkey, Izmier State Orchestra in Izmir, Turkey, and return
engagement with Portland Symphony Orchestra.
Maestro Shimada has been a frequent guest conductor with a number of international
orchestras, including two major orchestras in Turkey; the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in
Ankara and Izmir State Symphony Orchestra; the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra in
Vilnius; La Orquesta Filharmónica de Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico; the Moravian
Philharmonic Orchestra, Karlovy Vařy (Karlsbad) Symphony Orchestra, the Prague
Chamber Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic, NÖ Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna, L’
Orchestre National de Lille in France, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the
Edinburgh Festival. He has also guest conducted the Houston Symphony, Honolulu
Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra,
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, San José Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra,
Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and many other US and
Canadian orchestras. With the Yale Symphony Orchestra, he has made highly successful
tours in Italy, Turkey and Brazil. Also, he has was invited to conduct the United States
Coast Guard Band, following another guest conductor, Leonard Slatkin.
In addition to these activities, he has held the position of Artistic Adviser of the Tulare
County Symphony Orchestra in California, of which he served from 2007 to 2009. Music
Director of the Nassau Symphony Orchestra in New York, Music Director of the
Cambiata Soloists, a contemporary music ensemble in Houston, Music Director of the
Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra at Rice University, and Music Director of the
Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles.
He has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Andre Watts, Peter
Serkin, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Idil Biret, Peter Frankl, Janos Starker, Joshua Bell,
Hilary Hahn, Nadjia Salerno-Sonnenberg, Cho-Liang Lin, Sir James Galway, Evelyn
Glennie, Barry Tuckwell, and Doc Severinsen.
Maestro Shimada has had the good fortune to study with many distinguished conductors
of the past and the present, including Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Herbert
Blomstedt, Hans Swarovsky, and Michael Tilson Thomas. He was a finalist in the 1979
Herbert von Karajan conducting competition in Berlin,and a Fellow Conductor in the Los
Angeles Philharmonic Institute, in 1983. In addition, he was named Ariel Musician of the
Year in 2003 by Ariel Records, and received the ASCAP award in 1989. He has graduated
from California State University, Northridge, studying with David Whitwell and Lawrence
Christianson, and attended University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna, Austria.
He has consistently become an integral and beloved member of every community he joins,
receiving the Portland Fire Department's Merit Award, the Maine Publicity Bureau Cultural
Award, and the Italian Heritage Society Cultural Award, and having a number of days
named in his honor: Toshiyuki Shimada Day in Houston, TX, Toshiyuki Shimada Week in
Portland, Maine, and Toshiyuki Shimada Day in the State of Maine. In May 2006 he was
awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Fine Arts by Maine College of Arts. At Yale
University, he has been selected as the Fellow of Davenport College and a member of the
He records with Vienna Modern Masters label, and with Moravian Philharmonic, and
currently he has fifteen Compact Discs on the label. He also records for Capstone
Records, Querstand-VKJK (Germany) and Albany Records. His recordings of Gregory
Hutter's Skyscrapers and Himdemith's Piano Concerti CDs with pianist Idil Biret has been
issued by the Naxos label.
Maestro Shimada holds a teaching position at Yale University, as Associate Professor of
Conducting with Yale School of Music and Department of Music. He has a strong
commitment to music education, and has been a faculty member of Rice University,
Houston, Texas, the University of Southern Maine, and being a guest conductor with
Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra, Purchase College and University of Connecticut. He
has conducted All State Honor and Regional Honor Orchestras of Connecticut, California,
New York Maine and Massachusetts, as well as giving numerous lectures in the
community organizations. He was one of the distinguish speakers at the Chopin
Symposium 2010, at Hacettepe University, in Ankara, Turkey.
He resides in Connecticut, USA, with his concert pianist wife Eva Virsik.
Please visit Maestro Shimada's MySpace page:
Eva Virsik's Web page: