Yoko Shimomura (下村陽子, Shimomura Yōko, born October 19, 1967) is a Japanese composer and musician best known for her soundtracks for various video games.
Yoko Shimomura was born in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. Her parents enrolled her in piano lessons when she was five years old. She took quickly to the instrument, and she often pretended to be composing her own music by playing the piano randomly.
After high school, she enrolled as a piano major in Osaka Music University. Upon graduation, Shimomura intended to become a piano instructor. She had been a video gamer for many years, though, so on a lark, she sent some samples of her work to various video game companies. Capcom invited her in for an audition and interview, and she was offered a job there. Her family and instructors were dismayed with her change in focus (video-game music was still not mainstream in Japan at the time), but Shimomura accepted the job at Capcom. She was a member of Capcom’s in-house jazz band Alph Lyla, and composed the soundtrack of Street Fighter II.
In 1993, Shimomura transferred to another game company, Squaresoft. Her first project at the company was the score for the r...