Taka Matsunaga

Violin, Conducting
Director of the Midwest Conservatory of Music
Music Director of the Midwest Philharmonic Orchestra
Director of Orchestra at Elmhurst University

Taka Matsunaga came to the U.S. in 1998 to pursue his violin studies with David Taylor, Joseph Golan and Robert Chen, while attending Roosevelt University and Northeastern Illinois University, where he received his master’s degree in music.

From 1999-2001, Matsunaga was a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, a training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In March 2000, he performed at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Maestro Daniel Barenboim. While playing in the Civic Orchestra, Matsunaga has played with world-renowned conductors including Neeme Jarvi, Christoph Eschenbach, Osmo Vanska, Pierre Boulez and Pinchas Zukerman, to name just a few.

Matsunaga has studied at the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland as a full-scholar musician under the direction of Gerard Schwarz, a former music director of the Seattle Symphony, and Lan Shui, a conductor laureate of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Matsunaga went on to join the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, where he served as an Assistant Concertmaster.

As a conductor, Matsunaga made his debut at Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center in Chicago in 2016 with the Midwest Philharmonic Orchestra. He has conducted in Vienna, Salzburg, Detroit and at Carnegie Hall in New York. He often studies conducting privately with Maestro Victor Yampolsky, a professor at Northwestern University.

Matsunaga is a Director of Orchestra/ Visiting Assistant Professor at Elmhurst University.

He lives with his oboist wife, Naomi, and three little children, Eddie, Cece and Felix.