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Houston Symphony Names New Concertmaster

Music maestro Yoonshin Song is taking the reigns in the orchestra as lead violinist

Ever since the Houston Symphony first opened its doors in 1913 it has grown to become one of the bastions for the performing arts throughout the midwest. With countless awards under its belt including a Grammy, the institution is highly regarded. It is no surprise that after a three-year search, the organization turned to musician Yoonshin Song to fill it’s coveted concertmaster position as well as the holder of it’s Max Levine Chair.

Song first discovered music at the tender age of five. She says, “My mother is a classical music lover. She dreamt that her children might be able to play some instruments and she started my brother on the piano and me on the violin. I didn’t take it too seriously until nine or ten, but since then it has become the center of my life.” It was this dedication that led her to her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic just a year or two later at the age of eleven. Since then she has built a long-lasting career across the globe.

Despite her numerous awards and accolades, Song’s path to joining the Houston Symphony did not come easy. Song won the concertmaster position from a field of 39 candidates, 17 of whom performed with the orchestra as guest concertmasters. When Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estradahad had the opportunity to work with Song he said, “Yoonshin’s exceptional musicality, artistry, experience, and personality made her our unanimous choice.”

The decision came after Song stepped in as a guest concertmaster in November for the 2018 – 2019 season and made a profound impression. “You would expect it to be a difficult week but it wasn’t. Perhaps because there was no time to think; there was a phone call and a couple of hours later I was on a plane to Houston. But most importantly, the Houston Symphony musicians were so warm and welcoming and willing to work together. The rest was just the pleasure of making music,” she says of the experience.

Now official entering her first season as concertmaster she has many things to look forward to in the coming months. Particularly the Schumann Festival which will be running in February. Song says she is “excited and curious how our audience will perceive it” and hopes “they will enjoy a lot of great music by Schumann.”

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