Kimbo Ishii is currently continuing into his fifth season with Theater Magdeburg as General Music Director. During his five seasons at Theater Magdeburg he has conducted the premiere-productions of, "Lucia di Lammermoor", "Der Freischütz", "Jenůfa”, ”Madame Butterfly", "The Tales of Hoffmann", "The Abduction from the Seraglio", "Kiss me, Kate", "Tristan and Isolde", "Macbeth", "Un Ballo in Maschera", "Der Rosenkavalier", "Così fan tutte", "La Bohème", "Die Braut von Messina", "Die tote Stadt", "Tosca", "Der fliegende Holländer", "West Side Story" and "Dantons Tod". On the concert platform he has conducted numerous symphonic concerts.
During his tenure at the Komische Oper Berlin (KOB) from 2006-2008 where he was active as Principal Conductor (Kapellmeister), he conducted performances of "The Marriage of Figaro", "Don Giovanni", "The Magic Flute", "Fidelio", "The Barber of Seville", "Rigoletto", "Turandot", "Die Fledermaus", "The Bartered Bride", "Le Coq d'or" and two productions of Zemlinsky operas, "The Dwarf" and "A Florentine Tragedy". While still under the baton of Ishii conducting the coveted orchestra concerts and premiere-productions, the productions of "L'enfant et les sortilèges" and "The Tales of Hoffmann" became one of the most popular productions at the Komische Oper Berlin for seasons.
Ishii has served as Music Director to various Orchestras, during 2007-2012 he was made Music Director of the Amarillo Symphony, while from 1999-2007 he was Music Director with Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and he also served as Principal Guest Conductor from 2009-2013 with the Osaka Symphony Orchestra in Japan.
He has been conducting orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas such as the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bochum Symphony (Germany), the Deutsche Kammerorchestra (Berlin), the Kammerakademie Potsdam (Germany), the Manchester Camerata (England), the Silesian Philharmonic (Poland), the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sønderjylland Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Japan), New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (Japan), the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, 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).
In this season 2014/15, he is making his debut with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin and the Orchestra UniMi in Milano.
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.