Toshiyuki Shimada is the 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 Music Director and Conductor of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra. He was Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra of Yale University from 2005 to 2019. He is also Music Director Laureate of the 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 Orchestra for six years. Since 1998, he has also served as Principal Conductor of the Vienna Modern Masters record label in Austria.
Recently, Maestro Shimada guest conducted the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra in Istanbul, and the Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra which he conducted at the World Peace Day Concert at Korean DMZ and Jeju Island. He has also guest conducted the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra in Istanbul, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, and Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, all in Turkey. He led a highly successful Russian tour of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, performing in the White Hall at Saint Petersburg, and the Great Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory with highly acclaimed reviews.
Maestro Shimada has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Joshua Bell, and many others. In the Pops field he has performed with Doc Severinsen, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Marvin Hamlisch. He 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 is on the faculty of Connecticut College as Director of the Orchestral Program, and New York Conductors Workshop. He had been Associate Professor of Conducting with Yale School of Music and Department of Music until 2019. He has also taught at Shepherd Music School of Rice University. Consistently recognized as an integral and beloved member of every community he joins, Maestro Shimada has received recognition from the State of Connecticut Legislature, the City of New London, the Portland Fire Department’s Merit Award, the Maine Publicity Bureau Cultural Award, the Italian Heritage Society Cultural Award, and the ASCAP Award for innovating programs. He has had a number of state and city holidays 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.