A native of Yokohama City, Japan, Chihiro Shibayama is a versatile percussionist who has performed on stages across the globe. She has played percussion on a successful run of the Broadway musical Miss Saigon, and her Broadway debut was as one of three on-stage musicians for a new adaptation of The Cherry Orchard starring Diane Lane in New York City. She has also performed for the renowned Radio City Christmas Spectacular, ABC’s Good Morning America with John Legend and Common, the Metropolitan Opera, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony, among others.
As a chamber musician and a dedicated advocate for contemporary music, Chihiro has collaborated with esteemed ensembles like the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), Alarm Will Sound, Strike Anywhere Ensemble, and A Far Cry, pushing the boundaries of sonic artistry.
Beyond her remarkable career as a percussionist, Chihiro is a co-founder and program coordinator of Multicultural Sonic Evolution (MuSE), a nonprofit organization that weaves a tapestry of multicultural experiences through sound, uniting various artistic disciplines, including dance, theater, and film. Her commitment to fostering cultural diversity through music is a testament to her deep passion for the arts.
An equally accomplished educator, Chihiro has shared her knowledge as a percussion faculty member at prestigious institutions like the Diller-Quaile School of Music, the Third Street Music Settlement, and the Summer Arts Institute as a New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist. She has also nurtured students of all ages and levels through private instruction, and her expertise has been sought after through master classes at esteemed institutions, including the University of Alabama Huntsville, the University of Missouri School of Music, the Percussion Conservatory, Network for Diversity in Concert Percussion, Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar, and Maestra Music.
Chihiro earned both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School after graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy with a performance award. She proudly endorses Pearl/Adams Percussion and Dragonfly Percussion. Her former mentors include Daniel Druckman, Greg Zuber, Markus Rhoten, Joe Pereira, Roland Kohloff, Keith Aleo, Mariko Okada, and John Alfieri.
Chihiro’s hobbies include rock climbing, cooking, and drawing.