Megumi Kanda

Principal, Marjorie Tiefenthaler Trombone Chair


Megumi Kanda, Principal Trombone of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra since 2002, is an internationally acclaimed performer, teacher, and author.

Megumi has performed as a soloist across the United States, Europe and Asia, including with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Pershing’s Own Army Band, the US Army Field Band, and the Prague Chamber Orchestra. She has commissioned and/or premiered works of numerous composers, including those of Amy Riebs Mills, Bruce Stark, and Geoffrey Gordon. She has been a featured guest artist at numerous trombone workshops and festivals, including the International Trombone Festival and the American Trombone Workshop.

Megumi has appeared as guest faculty at numerous music institutions, including the New World Symphony, National Youth Orchestra, and Interlochen Arts Academy, and has given master classes and recitals at many colleges and conservatories across the US and Japan.

In April 2006, Megumi was recognized by the Arion Foundation in Tokyo, Japan as one of the most influential Japanese classical artists. She has also received a Certificate of Commendation from the Consul General of Japan at Chicago in recognition for distinguished service contributing to the friendship between the United States and Japan. Megumi was named a 2017 Woman of Influence in the category of education by the Milwaukee Business Journal. In 2020, she was named the recipient of the International Trombone Association Award, which recognizes the highest level of creative and artistic output.

Megumi’s first book, The One Hundred, a collection of orchestral trombone excerpts with accompanying commentary, was published in August 2015 and is a resource widely used by aspiring young trombonists around the world. Her second book, Trombone Unlimited, a comprehensive method book, was published in 2020.

As a JVC/Victor Entertainment artist, Megumi has recorded three solo albums:  Amazing Grace, Gloria, and Mona Lisa. She also can be heard on Magnifique Live, a live recording of Megumi and other JVC artists in the August 2005 performance at Takemitsu Hall in Tokyo’s Opera City.

A native of Tokyo, Japan, Megumi began to play the trombone at age ten and continued her studies at the prestigious Toho High School of Music, where she studied with Sumio Miwa, formerly of the NHK Symphony. At age fifteen, she became the youngest player ever to be named as one of the top ten trombonists at the Japanese Wind and Percussion Competition. Two years later she won the Grand Prize in the National Competition for Solo Trombone and won best soloist prize upon graduation from the Toho High School of Music.

Megumi came to the United States in 1994, and received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with James DeSano, former Principal Trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra. Prior to joining the Milwaukee Symphony she served as Principal Trombonist of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music Community Education Division.

Megumi is proud to be a Greenhoe clinician and performs on a Greenhoe trombone.

An avid gardener, Megumi was chosen to participate in the 2013 Garden Tour in Shorewood, WI.  She also enjoys going to Milwaukee Brewers games and taking walks with her husband Dietrich Hemann and sons Hans, Max and Lukas.