Born in Springfield, Ohio, Kanako Shimasaki began studying violin at age four. As a soloist, Kanako has been featured on Classical WDPR 88.1, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and the Millennium Stage Concert Series in Washington D.C. In 2013, she was named the Violin Winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. She has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Summer Music Institute Orchestra, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, CCM Philharmonia and Artaria Ensemble, Great Wall Soloists, and Wright State University Symphony Orchestra.
Previous summer festival highlights include: Aspen Music Festival, Mimir Chamber Music Festival, and National Symphony Orchestra National Trustees Summer Music Institute, where she was awarded the Levine Award and made her Kennedy Center solo debut as a winner of the SMI Competition.
Shimasaki is a founding member of an ensemble comprised of Columbus Symphony Orchestra violist Ken Matsuda, cellist Ruruko Makino and her sister, Mariko who currently studies at The Juilliard School. The group held a series of benefit concerts in Ohio for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan; all proceeds were sent to the Japanese Red Cross Society. The ensemble made their debut in Kyoto, Japan in 2014.
Kanako graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) as a full scholarship student, where she received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance. While at CCM, she was a winner of the Chamber Music Competition in 2012 and 2015 and the Brandenburg Concerto Competition in 2013. Kanako is continuing her studies in the Masters Program at CCM where she is a recipient of a full scholarship and teaching assistantship. She also serves as violin faculty in CCM’s Preparatory Department.
I specialize in classical music and accept students of all ages; I adjust my teaching style according to the needs of the students and strive to make learning music a postive and enjoyable experience.