Motoyuki Shitanda was born in Osaka.
He studied composition under Mareo Ishiketa, and graduated from the Composition Course, Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts.
As a composer, he has received many awards including Original Stage work Prize Special award (Agency for Cultural Affairs), the First Prize of Sasakawa Prize, the Second Prize in the composition division of the Sogakudo Japanese Lied Competition, the First Prize and the Member Award in the Pro Musica Nipponia 40th Anniversary Memorial Competition for Composition and the Akita City Cultural Merit Award.
He served as the music director of the Atorion Chamber Orchestra (orchestra in residence of the Akita Prefecture’s concert hall) up until 2011. He is a former executive director and a former vice president of Akita University.