Yamaha Young Performing Artist, Kanako Shimasaki of Springfield, Ohio has been a featured soloist on Discover Classical 88.1, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, and has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Summer Music Institute Orchestra, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Repertory Orchestra, CCM Philharmonia and Artaria Ensemble, and Great Wall Soloists Orchestra.

Summer festival highlights include: Aspen Music Festival, Mimir Chamber Music Festival, Bowdoin International 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.

Kanako is a founding member of “Three,” a cross-genre trio with Luke Gillespie, Professor of Piano/Jazz at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and her sister, Mariko. Together, they have played in concert series’ in Japan and the United States, most recently appearing at the Millennium Stage in DC, John Legend Theater, and the Kyoto City International Foundation.  

Kanako received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees, with full scholarships, from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Her primary teachers include Kurt Sassmannshaus and Won-Bin Yim.  While at CCM, she was a winner of the Chamber Music Competition in 2012 and 2015 and the Brandenburg Concerto Competition in 2013.  She currently serves as a teaching assistant and is on the faculty of the CCM Preparatory Department.