Kumiko Nowlan completed her B.A. degree at Senzoku Music College in Japan and received awards for her clarinet performance. She studied with Kazuhiko Ikematsu and Yoshiaki Suzuki. She performed as a freelance musician in Tokyo and was an instructor for five years. During her musician life in Japan, she met a number of phenomenal musicians including Seiji Ozawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Yutaka Sado who inspired her to study orchestra in the United States. She met world-renowned clarinet players, including Chicago Symphony’s Larry Combs and Gregory Smith while attending the Affinis Festival in Nagano, Japan.
Kumiko entered Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1997. She studied clarinet with Greg Smith, chamber music with Dale Clevenger, Ludmila Lazar, and graduated with a Masters in Clarinet Performance in 2000. She was accepted as first associate clarinet at the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and performed from 2000 to 2002 seasons. She also performed at International Clarinet Festival in Oklahoma, Chicago Clarinet Ensemble, and local music groups. Kumiko has been teaching clarinet out of her home for 12 years. Her students have excelled in performance and have many notable achievements as a result.