Toshiyuki Shimada, a conductor in much demand because of his experience and of vital service to his community where he conducts, is Music Director of both Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut and the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes in New York, as well as Music Director of 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, and guest conducting engagements, including the return engagement with La Orquesta Filharmonica de Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico, in the Festival Cultural de Mayo, Jalisco.
Maestro Shimada has been a frequent guest conductor with a number of international orchestras, including 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, 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. In May and June, 2010, the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Shimada made a highly successful tour in the Republic of Turkey, performing in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, with a hundreds of media coverage, including CNN and Turkish National Television. In 2008, YSO toured in Italy performing in Rome, Florence, Bologna and Milan. Also, this past spring he has was invited to conduct the United States Coast Guard Band, following another guest conductor, Leonard Slatkin who was invited to conduct last season.
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 also 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 Elizabethan Club.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 recording of Gregory Hutter's Skyscrapers has been released through 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 is co-founder of Leipzig Summer Conducting Course, in Stelzen, Germany. 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.