Music Director and Conductor
Nobuyoshi Yasuda, affectionately known as ‘Nobu’, is the driving force behind and in front of all Chippewa Valley Symphony performances. Nobu has the energy to carry musicians through long rehearsals and inspire them in times of weakness.
Nobu selects the season’s repertoire with the help of the Artistic Advisory committee. His selections challenge the orchestra while showcasing their strengths. Through Nobu, the orchestra has grown to new levels of achievement.
A native of Takarazuka, Japan, Nobu’s violin studies began at the age of three. He holds degrees in violin performance from Soai University in Japan (BM), and Indiana University (MM), and has been active as a violin soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Japan. Nobu’s interest in conducting was sparked by his desire to find new ways to share his passion for music.
After his graduate studies, Nobu received fellowships to study with Gunther Schuller at the Festival at Sandpoint and Murry Sidlin and Michael Tilson Thomas at the Aspen Music Festival. Nobu credits Eiji Oue, the former Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra, as his principal conducting mentor.
Nobu was appointed as Orchestra Director and Assistant Professor of Violin at UW-Eau Claire in 1991. He became music director of the Chippewa Valley Symphony in 1993 and was Associate Conductor of the Grand Teton Music Festival in 1999 – 2003. His performance of Milhaud’s Création du monde at the festival was broadcast on National Public Radio’s Performance Today in July 2001.
Nobu has served as guest conductor for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and acting assistant conductor for the Minnesota Orchestra. In May of 2003, he made his debut as guest conductor of the NDR Philharmonic-Hannover in Germany.
In March, 2004, Nobu conducted in Indiana and Japan. Early in March, he was the guest conductor of the Osaka Philharmonic at the Osaka Festival Hall in his hometown of Osaka, Japan, where he conducted Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, as well as several other selections in a sold out house seating 3,000.
Anna Rybicki is a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native who completed her undergraduate study at Illinois Wesleyan University with degrees in vocal performance and philosophy. She attended The University of Michigan Law School. Following graduation she served as a law clerk with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and then entered private legal practice in Cedar Rapids. While in Iowa she served on the boards of directors of Legion Arts and the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.
After relocating to Eau Claire, Ms. Rybicki became a founding board member and the community relations coordinator for Initiative for New Directions in Education (INDE). She is also a member of the grant writing and planning team for Anthony Acres School.
Ms. Rybicki is an active solo performer and member of choral ensembles Schola Cantorum and Oxbridge Consort. She previously sang with IWU’s Collegiate Choir, University of Michigan’s Outreach in the Performing Arts, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Theatre Cedar Rapids, Just Brewed Jazz, The Master Singers, Chippewa Skiffle Orchestra, and Eauxpera.
Susan Halderman teaches cello in The Cello Connection. She performs cello in Chippewa Valley Symphony, Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, Red Cedar Symphony, Clear Water Chamber Players and Chippewa Valley String Quartet.
Raised by a musical family in Pine Island, Minnesota, Rose began studying violin—via the Suzuki Method—at the age of 7, and started piano lessons when she was 11. Soon she discovered jazz violin after attending a life-changing workshop with Randy Sabien on improvisation. During her junior year of high school her team earned the title of state-champion in the Minnesota Music Listening Contest—a music competition combining aural listening skills, team collaboration, and knowledge of history & music theory. By the end of 2015 Rose Marie graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire—where she took lessons with Nobuyoshi Yasuda, Owen Lovell, and Chiayu Hsu—earning a degree in Music Composition. She began teaching at Offbeats Violin & Guitar in the fall of 2017, and in 2018 she switched to full-time teaching. When she isn’t teaching, she manages lesson scheduling and assists with the retail side of Offbeats. She has also been a member of the Chippewa Valley Symphony since 2016 and has never missed a performance. This year she took on the role of Orchestra Librarian. Rose Mish also performs and writes collaboratively with Andy Hanson for their band Wyblue.