Erina Yashima

German-born conductor Erina Yashima has been recently appointed répétiteur with conducting duties of the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern. Previously, she was the music director of the Freies Studentenorchester Rostock (2013-2015). In 2013 she was given the Award of outstanding excellence by the Musikakademie Rheinsberg for the opera production she conducted there in 2013. Her guest conducting experiences include a collaboration with El Sistema in Venezuela, where she conducted two youth orchestras (May 2015).

Yashima was active participant of Riccardo Muti’s Italian Opera Academy at the Ravenna Festival and of masterclasses given by Bernard Haitink (Lucerne Festival) and Gianluigi Gelmetti (Accademia Musicale Chigiana). In 2015 she was selected as one of the top three finalists at the workshop INTERAKTION des Kritischen Orchesters by members of professional orchestras such as Berlin Philharmonic and Staatskapelle Berlin.

As pre-college piano student of Bernd Goetzke Ms. Yashima started her musical studies at the Institute for the Early Advancement of the Musically Highly Gifted (IFF) in Hannover where she got her first conducting lessons at the age of 14. After studying conducting in Freiburg with Scott Sandmeier and in Vienna with Mark Stringer, she is completing her studies in conducting at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin under the guidance of Christian Ehwald and Hans-Dieter Baum.

The orchestras that Yashima conducted include the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt (Oder), Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, Brandenburger Symphoniker, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, North Czech Philharmonic Teplice, Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo and New Music ensembles of the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover.

Matthew Aucoin

Matthew Aucoin was the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2013-2015.

A 2012 graduate of Harvard College (summa cum laude), composer, conductor, poet, and pianist , he also has served as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.

In the 2013-14 season, in addition to his CSO debut, Aucoin made matthew-aucoin-headshotconducting debuts with Juilliard Opera in Eugene Onegin; the Rome Opera Orchestra; and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, in an open rehearsal featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma; while also serving as a cover conductor at the Metropolitan Opera for The Nose and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Così fan tutte.

Aucoin’s third opera, Crossing, premiered at the American Repertory Theater, directed by Diane Paulus, in May 2015. His fourth, Second Nature, an opera for young people commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago, premiered in Chicago in August 2015. Aucoin’s next opera has been commissioned by the New Works Program of the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater. Recent and upcoming performances of Aucoin’s orchestral and chamber works include performances by the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, pianist Benjamin Hochman, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, the SOLI Chamber Ensemble, the Gramercy Trio, violinist Keir GoGwilt, and pianist George Fu.

Aucoin studied composition with Robert Beaser at Juilliard, where he received a graduate diploma. He currently is composer-in-residence at the Peabody Essex Museum.

An accomplished poet, critic, and essayist, Matthew Aucoin’s poems and essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Yale Review, The Harvard Advocate, the Colorado Review, and Plain China; his advisor at Harvard was poet Jorie Graham. He has served as guest lecturer on music and literature at the New York Shakespeare Society and New York University’s Casa Italiana, and he has hosted classical music radio programs for New York’s WQXR.

Sean Kubota

Shoichi Sean Kubota was the inaugural Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2011-2013.

“Precise conducting – exceptional musicality” Chicago Crusader 

A Tokyo native, Mr.Kubota has conducted numerous premier ensembles throughout the world including Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Melbourne SymphonySean Headship Orchestra, Orchestra of Sofia, Orchestra della Toscana and Spring Festival in Tokyo Ensemble. His guest conducting mentors have included Hugh Wolff, Marin Alsop, Leonard Slatkin and Kurt Masur.

During his tenure with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mr.Kubota had the opportunity to work closely with distinguished conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Bernard Haitink, Charles Dutoit and Edo de Waart on more than 30 programs and accompanied them on their domestic as well as international tours. In the 2012-13 season, he coached musicians of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as part of CSO’s River Project with the famed cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, serving as its producer. As part of the program, Mr. Kubota made his Chicago debut conducting Beethoven’s 6th Symphony to a packed house, which resulted in a standing ovation.

Also active as an operatic conductor, Mr.Kubota has studied Così fan tutte, Cavalleria Rusticana, Tosca, Suor Angelica, Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Giangluigi Gelmetti at Accademia Musicale Chigiana and Rome Opera House. In the summer of 2010, Mr. Kubota made his operatic debut in Tokyo conducting Così fan tutte with New Chamber Orchestra of Tokyo. Later, he studied Otello, Simon Boccanegra, Macbeth,  and Nabucco with Riccardo Muti at CSO and Rome Opera House and conducted a backstage ensemble as Muti’s assistant. In 2013-14, as part of the Verdi’s bicentenary year season, he continued to work closely with Muti at Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Kubota is a strong proponent of music education and community service through music. In 2010, with the support of Japan Foundation New York (JFNY), he produced a ‘side-by-side’ concert in which professional musicians and local high school students joined forces to perform Joe Hisaishi’s film compositions as part of an effort to introduce and spread awareness of the Japanese culture. Orchestrada, an orchestra based in Tokyo that Mr. Kubota serves as music director, regularly invites and in its relatively short history already has brought to its performances more than five hundred individuals who are blind, disabled, ill or otherwise usually unable to attend such concerts. He hopes to continue building relationships with welfare facilities in Tokyo to find various ways to present music to a wider demographic.

Mr. Kubota received his Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting in 2005 from The Juilliard School studying with Otto-Werner Mueller and Professional Study Diploma from the Mannes College of Music in 2007 studying with David Hayes. He received numerous awards during his studies such as S&P Stanley scholar, N.T. Milani scholar, Mary Power award and Bruno Walter award. During the past summer seasons, he has appeared as a fellow conductor at Accademia Musicale Chigiana studying with Gianluigi Gelmetti where he earned the Diploma di Merito and at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Music Festival studying with David Zinman. He is a 2008-2009 season recipient of the Japanese Government Artist Fund.

He has served as music director of 92Y School of Music Orchestra, which is one of the oldest American orchestras with 95 years of history. Currently, he has been serving as music director of Orchestrada in Tokyo since 2011. At both organizations, he is a founder of conducting workshop where he provides opportunities to learn the art of conducting to the younger generation.

In summer of 2015, Mr. Kubota joined the Pacific Music Festival (PMF) as an assistant conductor.