German-born conductor Erina Yashima is the winner of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprenticeship and has recently extended her contract through the 2018/19 season. She was also one of the three finalists of the 2018 Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award and performed with the Camerata Salzburg during the Salzburg Festival’s YCA Award Concert Weekend in August 2018.
As Solti Conducting Apprentice, Yashima assists CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti as well as guest conductors, such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, and has collaborated with musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and CSO Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma on several occasions. In addition, Yashima works closely with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO's training orchestra: She has conducted them in many outreach and education projects as well as performances at Symphony Center and has prepared the orchestra for Riccardo Muti, Christoph Eschenbach and Emmanuel Krivine among others.
Besides her commitment in Chicago, Yashima works regularly as a guest conductor: In her Italian opera debut in February 2017, Yashima conducted Rossini's La Cenerentola with the Orchestra Giovanile “Luigi Cherubini” in Lucca and Ravenna–and once again 2018 in Piacenza. She will conduct the orchestra again in a production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in February 2019 in Novara and Ravenna. Also in 2017, Yashima made her debut at the Salzburg Festival with Der Schauspieldirektor, the festival's opera production for children, and was invited to act as cover conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. During Romania’s 2017 Festival Cluj Musical Autumn, Yashima conducted the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra of Cluj-Napoca, where she will return next season.
Previously, Yashima has served as répétiteur with conducting duties at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, where she conducted performances of My Fair Lady in 2015. From 2013 to 2015, she was the music director of the Freies Studentenorchester Rostock. In 2013 she conducted the opera production of the Musikakademie Rheinsberg and was given the award of outstanding excellence by the Musikakademie.
Further orchestras that Yashima has conducted include the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, New Music ensembles of the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt (Oder), Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, Brandenburger Symphoniker, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, North Czech Philharmonic Teplice and Festival Strings Lucerne. Yashima also collaborated with El Sistema in Venezuela, where she worked with two youth orchestras.
In 2015 Yashima was an active participant of masterclasses with Riccardo Muti in Ravenna and with Bernard Haitink in Lucerne. In the same year she was chosen as finalist at the “INTERAKTION” workshop by musicians from Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin and Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden among others. During the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Gianluigi Gelmetti awarded her the Diploma di Merito and invited her to conduct the Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo in 2013 and again in 2014.
As a pre-college piano student of Bernd Goetzke, 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 completed her Master’s and Concert Exam degree in conducting at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin under the guidance of Christian Ehwald and Hans-Dieter Baum.