Tera Shimizu was born in Berlin, Germany and educated in the United States. She began formative lessons with Josef Kovacs in Princeton, New Jersey and later studied at the Juilliard School with the renowned pedagogue Dorothy DeLay receiving her Bachelor of Music degree. She also participated in the Juilliard-Columbia University exchange program taking classes in medieval history and mathematics.
Later, specializing in baroque violin/viola and historical performance practice, Tera studied in London at the Trinity College of Music with Richard Gwilt receiving a Post-Graduate Diploma and the Early Music Award. She studied viola de gamba with Alison Crum and participated in workshops and masterclasses with Anner Bylsma, Jürgen Kussmaul, Simon Standage, Reinhard Goebel, Jordi Savall, Wieland Kuijken, Monica Huggett, Bernhard Forck, Enrico Onofri as well as with members of the Juilliard, Tokyo and Emerson string quartets. She has performed in numerous festivals including Waterloo, Pacific Music, Dartington Festival, La Folle Journée.
Tera has worked with Frans Brüggen, Philippe Herreweghe, René Jacobs, Jordi Savall, Thomas Hengelbrock, Hervé Niquet, Ton Koopman, Leonardo Garcia Alarcón, Roy Goodman and Maxim Emelyanychev.
An avid chamber musician, Tera is artistic director of Ensemble Alorna, a chamber ensemble drawn from members of the Gulbenkian Orchestra specializing in baroque and classical repertoire played in a historically informed style. Additionally, she is artistic director of the Nasoni Ensemble, a Portuguese early music group specializing in 17th and 18th century repertoire performed on original instruments. Other projects in Portugal and abroad include Quarteto Alcipe, Ensemble Dom Joāo V and collaborations with Orquestra Barroca de Mateus, Americantiga Ensemble, Soavi Concenti, Divino Sospiro, Os Músicos do Tejo, Ensemble Avondano, Contraverso, Flores da Música, Udite Amante, Concerto Campestre amongst others.
Tera is the invited guest concertmaster of the Opera Neo summer festival in San Diego, California since 2020. She has led productions of Mozart’s Magic Flute, the Marriage of Figaro, Handel’s Serse under the direction of Peter Kozma and Stephen Stubbs. Upcoming productions include Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera with a co-production in Budapest in June 2022 and Handel’s Ariodante.
An enthusiast of the viola d’amore, Tera can also be found playing the viola d’amore solo in Pentatone’s recording of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly under the direction of Lawrence Foster and the Gulbenkian Orchestra.
Upcoming recordings include a c.d. of 3 quartets by João Pedro de Almeida Mota, Portugal’s greatest composer of chamber music of the classical era with Quarteto Alcipe. This recording is funded by Portugal’s ministry of culture and D.G.Artes.
Tera is based in Lisbon, Portugal and a member of the Gulbenkian Orchestra since 1996.