1. Faculty

Shinji Eshima

Double Bass

"...he has a quite individual voice, a voice that I consider to be vital in our effort to encourage new audiences to embrace our art form, whether symphonic or operatic. Bravo, Shinji. May your voice be given a chance to speak loud and clear to future generations of classical music lovers!" —Donald Runnicles


  • Private Lessons


  • MM, The Juilliard School
  • BA, Stanford University


  • San Francisco Opera Orchestra, 1980–Present
  • San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Associate Principal, 1982–Present


  • Associate Principal, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
  • Composer, RAkU, Swimmer, San Francisco Ballet commissions
  • Shinji Eshima Day, The City of Berkeley, December 6, 2011
  • Stanford Humanities Award, 1977

What is your hometown?

Berkeley, CA

What is your favorite recording?

Schubert: Piano Trio in B-flat (Stern/Rose/Istomin)

What are you passionate about outside of music?

The poetry of Percy Shelley.

Who were your major teachers?

Charles Siani and David Walter.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

"If it's Tuesday it must be up-bow.”
—David Walter

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

“How do I learn to love orchestra excerpts?”

What was a turning point in your career?

Meeting poet Scott Bourne.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

J.S. Bach, Richard Strauss, and more Bach.

Who are three students you have had the privilege of teaching?

Charles Chandler, Marco Behtash, and Yuxin Wu.

What recordings can we hear you on?

RAkU, San Francisco Ballet

What is your unrealized project?

Composing an opera.