Kimbo Ishii has been conducting orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas such as the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin, Oldenburgische Staatsorchester, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Philharmonisches Orchester Regensburg, the Deutsche Kammerorchestra (Berlin), the Kammerakademie Potsdam, Augsburger Philharmoniker, the Bochum Symphony, the Manchester Camerata (England), the Silesian Philharmonic (Poland), the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sønderjylland Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), Athens State Orchestra, Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Japan), New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (Japan), Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, Japan Century Symphony Orchestra, Kanagawa Philhamonic Orchestra, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kyusyu Symphony Orchestra (Japan), the China Broadcast Symphony, the Shanghai Symphony, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, the Skaneateles Festival Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and Orchestra Philharmonika de Lima (Peru).
Ishii has served as Music Director to various Orchestras and Opera houses;
2019-2022 General Music Director of the Landestheater Schleswig-Holstein in Germany
2010-2019 General Music Director of the Theater Magdeburg
2009-2013 Principal Guest Conductor of the Osaka Symphony Orchestra in Japan
2007-2012 Music Director of the Amarillo Symphony
2006-2008 Principal Conductor (Kapellmeister) of the Komische Oper Berlin
1999-2007 Music Director with Cayuga Chamber Orchestra
After tremendous success conducting “Le Coq d’Or” by Rimsky-Korsakov in 2017 with the Deutsche Oper am Rheim, Ishii was immediately invited back to serve as one of their guest conductors with the revival production of “The fiery Angel” by Prokofiev in 2018/19.
His festival activities include conducting at the Kusatsu International Music Festival in Japan from 1996-1999, a guest faculty appointment at the C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival, and two Conducting Fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Festival. For several seasons he was Cover Conductor with both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic where he had assisted world-class conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, James Conlon and Yakov Kreizberg.
Other career highlights include several NTV concert broadcasts with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, and his CD recordings conducting with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, The Camerata Schulz, the Kusatsu Festival Orchestra and the Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ishii's internationally renowned conducting teachers have included Chosei Komatsu, Michael Charry, Seiji Ozawa, and Sir Simon Rattle. He received his Master's degree in Conducting from the Mannes College of Music.
He also studied violin with Walter Barylli at the Conservatory in Vienna after years of training in Japan with Yu Kazaoka, and continued his violin studies with Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang at the Juilliard School of Music.
Ishii was a prizewinner in Denmark's Nikolai Malko International Conducting Competition in 1995. He was awarded the George & Elizabeth Gregory Award for Performance Excellence (New York Arts Foundation) in 1996, and in 2010 he was also bestowed the "Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award" (Sony Music Foundation), in which its entire prize money has been donated to the Tokyo Junior Philharmonic Orchestra.