Shinji Eshima has been a double-bassist in the San Francisco Opera since 1980. He has also served as Associate Principal Bass in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra since 1982. He has taught classical bass at San Francisco State University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford University, San Francisco School of the Arts and the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Born in Berkeley, CA in 1956 to a Japanese American family, Mr. Eshima has written over 30 works including ballets, operas, hymns, choruses, solos, chamber pieces and soundtracks. An audio recording of his first work for San Francisco Ballet, RAkU, was released in 2012 and a documentary about the ballet, Fire and Ashes: Making the Ballet RAkU premiered in 2017. His most recent major commission is Zheng, a new opera about the late Chinese-born, American mezzo-soprano, Zheng Cao.
Mr. Eshima graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Music from Stanford University and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. He was the recipient of the Stanford Humanities Award and was honored by the city of Berkeley with a declaration on December 6, 2011 as "Shinji Eshima Day" for his contribution to the Arts.