...he has a quite individual voice, a voice that I consider to be vital in our effort to encourage new audiences to embrace our art form, whether symphonic or operatic. Bravo, Shinji. May your voice be given a chance to speak loud and clear to future generations of classical music lovers!"
General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Chief Conductor of BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival
Shinji Eshima (b. 1956, Berkeley, California) is a Japanese-American composer and musician. He has composed over 30 works, including ballets, operas, hymns, choruses, solos, chamber pieces, and soundtracks. An audio recording of his first work for San Francisco Ballet, RAkU, was released in 2012, and a documentary about the ballet (Fire and Ashes, Making the Ballet RAkU) premiered in 2017. In 2014, RAkU joined the repertoire of The Joffrey Ballet, and was also performed byPacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle in 2018. In 2015,the San Francisco Ballet commissioned Swimmer, which incorporates four recorded songs of TomWaits. It premiered in April 2015, and returned in the 2016 season. That year, Shinji also composedBariolage, a duo for violoncello and doublebass. It premiered at Davies Symphony Hall, performed by and written for former student Charles Chandler and Amos Yang.
Eshima has been a double bassist for San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet since 1980 and 1982, respectively. He holds the position of Associate Principal Bass in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. He has taught classical bass at San Francisco State University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford
University, San Francisco School of the Arts, and University of California, Santa Cruz.
Eshima graduated with a Bachelor degree in Music from Stanford University and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. He was the recipient of the Stanford Humanities Award and was honored by the city of Berkeley with a declaration on December 6, 2011, "Shinji Eshima Day," for his contributions to the arts.