Kimiko Shimada, soprano, has been the choral director of the Japanese Choral Society of Washington (JCSW) since its inception in 2001. She received a B.A. from Ochanomizu University and an M.A. in opera studies from Tokyo University of the Arts. During her graduate study she also spent a year in Milan, Italy, to study abroad at the National Verdi Conservatory, where she received a perfect score. Ms. Shimada is a member of most prestigious Niki-kai- Opera Company in Japan. She has performed as a soloist on numerous occasions in Japan and in the Greater Washington, D.C. area, including at the Kennedy Center, the Strathmore Hall, the Library of Congress, and the Friday Morning Music Club. She performed as a soloist in chorus music "Sakura Sakura" and "America the Beautiful" by Maiko Chiba. She also performed solo music by Maiko Chiba at "A Prayer for Japan" at the National Cathedral in April, 2011.
Born in Tokyo, Maiko Chiba received her Bachelor's degree in composition from the Tokyo University of the Arts. She received her doctoral degree in composition from the University of Maryland's School of Music. She has studied composition with Robert Gibson, Thomas DeLio, Jeffrey Mumford, Jo Kondo, Akira Kitamura and Sakurako Ohta.
She composes for a wide range of needs - from a single instrument up to a full orchestra, with genres ranging from classical to modern age. Her compositions have been performed both in the USA and Japan, including Strathmore mansion, Ring auditorium at Hirshhorn museum and the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage by artists such as James Stern (violinist), Audrey Andrist (pianist), Opus 3 trio, 21st Century Consort and the Japanese Choral Society of Washington. One of her compositions "~ On a Field of Wintry Glass ~ for violin, cello, and piano" commissioned and performed by Opus 3 Trio was highly praised by the Washington Post in 2000.