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Toshiyuki Shimada

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TOSHIYUKI SHIMADA is currently Music Director and Conductor of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra in New London; Music Director and Conductor of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes; and he has been just appointed as Music Director and Conductor of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra.  Previously held appointments include Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra (2005-19), Music Director Laureate of the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine) (1986-06), Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra,
and since 1998 he has served as Principal Conductor of the Vienna Modern Masters recording label in Austria. 

In 2019 Maestro Shimada conducted a nationally televised concert at the DMZ, South Korea with the Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra, which he also conducted in Jeju Island for the commemoration of the Massacre 4.3.

Internationally he has frequently been on the podium of La Orquesta Fliarmonica de Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico, and continues close associations with Turkish Orchestras including the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, the Izmir State Symphony Orchestra in Izmir, and the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara.  He has appeared in the Austrian RadioKulturhaus (Vienna) with the MUK Symphony Orchestra, and in 2017 he led the Yale Symphony Orchestra on the highly successful Russian Tour, followed by tours of
Brazil, Turkey and Italy.  Innumerable guest conducting appearances include the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra (Vilnius); the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; the Karlovy Vary (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.

North American conducting appearances include the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the San José Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Cambiata Soloists, a contemporary music ensemble in Houston; the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra at Rice University; and the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles.  Prestigious collaborations include artists such as Itzhak Perlman, André Watts, Peter Serkin, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Idil Biret, Peter Frankl, János Starker, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Cho-Liang Lin, Sir James Galway, David Shifrin, Evelyn Glennie, Barry Tuckwell, Doc Severinsen, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Marvin Hamlisch.

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.  In 1979 he was a finalist in the 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 graduated from California State University, Northridge, studying with David Whitwell and Lawrence Christianson, and attended the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna, Austria.

Consistently recognized as an integral and beloved member of every community he joins, Maestro Shimada has received recognitions from the Portland Fire Department's Merit Award, the Maine Publicity Bureau Cultural Award, and the Italian Heritage Society Cultural Award. He has had a number of state and city holidays named in his honor: Toshiyuki Shimada Day in Houston; Toshiyuki Shimada Week in Portland, Maine; Toshiyuki Shimada Day in the State of Maine; and Toshiyuki Shimada Day in the State of Connecticut.  In May 2006 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Fine Arts by Maine College of Arts. 

Maestro Shimada records for the Naxos and the Vienna Modern Masters labels, has made fifteen CDs with the Moravian Philharmonic, in Czech Republic, Capstone Records, Querstand-VKJK (Germany), and Albany Records.  His Paul Hindemith CD of the complete piano concerti with the famed Turkish pianist, Idil Biret, was released in 2013. His Music from the Vatican with the Prague Chamber Orchestra and Chorus is available through iTunes and Rhapsody.

A sought after educator he has been Associate Professor of Conducting with Yale School of Music and Department of Music, Director of the Orchestral Activity at Connecticut College,
a faculty member of Rice University (Houston), the University of Southern Maine; and served as Artist Faculty at the Houston Institute of Aesthetic Study. He has conducted All State Honor and Regional Honor Orchestras for Connecticut, California, New York, Maine and Massachusetts. He was one of the distinguish speakers at the Chopin Symposium 2010, at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey.  He teaches at the New York Conducting Workshop, and he is also a Board Member of the Conductors Guild.

October 1, 2023