In May 2009, TOSHIYUKI SHIMADA was selected from over 220 candidates from 5 continents, as the new Music Director and Conductor of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. He also holds posts as Music Director and Conductor of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes and since 2005, has been Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra. After serving as music director from 1986-2005 at the Portland Maine Symphony Orchestra, he was honored with the title of Music Director Laureate. Prior to his Portland engagement, he was Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra for six years, beginning in 1981. Since 1998, he has also served as Principal Conductor of the Vienna Modern Masters record label in Austria.
Maestro Shimada has been a frequent guest conductor with a number of international orchestras, including the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra in Vilnius; the Orquesta Filharmónico 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, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, San José Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, New York Chamber Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and many other US and Canadian orchestras. On May and June, 2008, the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Shimada made a highly successful Italian tour performing in Rome, Florence, Bologna and Milan.
Past positions include Artistic Adviser of the Tulare County Symphony Orchestra in California from 2007 to 2009, Music Director of the Nassau Symphony Orchestra in New York, Music Direcotr of the Cambiata Soloists, a contemporary music ensemble in Houston, Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles.
He has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Andre Watts, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, 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.
Maestro Shimada becomes an integral and beloved member of every community he joins and has been recognized by the Portland Fire Department's Merit Award, the Maine Publicity Bureau Cultural Award, and the Italian Heritage Society Cultural Award. Additionally, a number of days were named in his honor such as 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 the Maine College of Arts. At Yale University, he has been selected as the Fellow of the Davenport College and a member of the Elizabethan Club.
Maestro Shimada is Co-Founder of the Summer Conducting Symposium in Leipzig, Germany, and holds a teaching position at Yale University, as Associate Professor of Conducting with the Yale School of Music and the Department of Music. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, concert pianist, Eva Virsik.
He records with the Vienna Modern Masters label, and with the Moravian Philharmonic, and currently claims a discography of over fifteen Compact Discs. He also records for Capstone Records, Querstand-VKJK (Germany) and Albany Records. His recording of Gregory Hutter's "Skyscrapers" has just been released through the Naxos label.
To view Maestro Shimada's pictures click here.
Please visit Maestro Shimada’s web pages:
Management for the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe: Michal Schmidt Artists International www.schmidtart.com
Contact: Michal Schmidt
Management for Japan: Artists International Management www.artistsinternational.com
Contact: Birgit Schmid-Salm