Mizuho - profile

Mizuho Yoshii-Smith



Can you tell us something about your instrument? The oboe is like a human voice that makes people feel inspired to communicate with others.

If you could play another instrument what would it be? I’d like to be a better piano player than I am now, or a singer.

The first piece of music you fell in love with: Chopin’s polonaise piano pieces.

What would you do if you weren’t a musician? I actually wanted to study medicine or economics, but now I think I would become an artist, I guess, like a photographer or a painter.

What makes a “perfect” concert? Deep positive energies from both the musicians’ and the audience’s sides.


Mizuho Yoshii-Smith has been principal oboist of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra since 2001. Additionally, many of the finest European orchestras have invited her to play as their guest principal oboist. She has worked closely with the conductors Claudio Abbado, Gunter Wand, Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. She is also an active chamber musician and soloist in her home country of Japan and abroad.

Mizuho Yoshii-Smith is professor of oboe at Tokyo University of the Arts. She has also been invited to give masterclasses as guest professor at a variety of international music colleges including New York's Manhattan School of Music, as well as colleges in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Colombia and Venezuela. 

In 2013, the Bungei Shunjyu newspaper group selected Mizuho to represent the future of Japan as a leader in her field of expertise. In addition, she was awarded the 49th JXTG (formally Mobil) music prize in 2019. 

Mizuho is founder and artistic director of the Kamakura ReSonance Concert Series which has been active since 2015.