The Oregon Symphony has appointed Sarah Kwak as its new
concertmaster. The Boston-born violinist has been a member of the
Minnesota Orchestra since 1988. She was acting concertmaster from
January 2010 to September 2011 and is currently first associate
concertmaster. She will begin her new position in Portland at the
start of the 2012–13 season. She succeeds Jun Iwasaki, who left the
Oregon Symphony last June to become concertmaster of the Nashville
Kwak graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1983. Her teachers included Joseph Sivo, Ivan Galamian and Szymon Goldberg. She won the 1989 WAMSO Young Artist Competition, and received a McKnight Artist Fellowship in 2008. She has been a soloist with the Minnesota and Philadelphia orchestras and the Houston Symphony.
Kwak's husband, Minnesota Orchestra violinist Vali Phillips, is also joining the Oregon Symphony, having won a position in the violin section at auditions earlier this season.