Yuna Lee succeeds Fred Lifsitz, who retired from the group earlier this year

Alexander Quartet cr Martin Selwin

Alexander Quartet © Martyn Selman

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The San Francisco-based Alexander Quartet has announced its new second violinist, Yuna Lee, as the ensemble celebrates its 43rd season.

’The Alexander Quartet could not be more excited to welcome Yuna Lee to the group. Yuna is a wonderful musician and a truly delightful human being,’ said the quartet’s violist, David Samuel. ’As a Bay Area local, she also shares a deep connection with the region and will be a huge asset as we endeavour to grow our work in the community. We know that audiences are going to love her playing as much as we do, and we look forward to many concerts and other adventures together for years to come!’

’I am thrilled and honoured to be joining the Alexander Quartet,’ said Lee. ’I look forward to continuing the work of the ensemble’s remarkable legacy and seeing where our shared passion leads as we embark on our 43rd season.’

Lee has been based in San Francisco since 2010, performing and touring with the San Francisco Symphony as well as presenting chamber music concerts throughout the Bay Area. She has previously played with the Saint Louis Symphony and served as concertmaster and soloist of the New World Symphony. She has also performed as a member of The Knights in New York City.

Lee co-founded the Phaedrus Quartet along with Ilya Gringolts in 1999. As a member of that ensemble she performed internationally including at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, La Jolla SummerFest, and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and alongside Nicolas Anglich, Yuri Bashmet, and Joshua Bell at the Verbier Festival.

Lee received her early musical training at the New England Conservatory in Boston with Bo Hwang and served as concertmaster of both the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and Tanglewood Young Artists Orchestra. She went on to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at The Juilliard School in New York, where her principal teachers were Cho-Liang Lin and Naoko Tanaka. She studied chamber music with members of the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, and Tokyo Quartets.

Lee’s first appearance with the Alexander Quartet will be at Rossmoor Chamber Music Society on 18 September. The foursome will then perform at San Francisco Performances’ Gala Concert on 29 September at Herbst Theatre, marking the Alexander Quartet’s 35th Anniversary as the Ensemble-in-Residence with San Francisco Performances.

The Alexander Quartet was founded in New York City in 1981. The quartet won the Concert Artists Guild Competition in 1982, and went on to become the first American quartet to win the London (now Wigmore) International String Quartet Competition in 1985. The members of the Alexander Quartet are recipients of honorary degrees from Allegheny College and St. Lawrence University, and Presidential medals from Baruch College (CUNY).

In addition to Lee, the Alexander Quartet comprises violinist Zakarias Grafilo, violist David Samuel and cellist Sandy Wilson. The Alexander Quartet performs on Michael Fischer and unlabeled circa 1800 Italian violins, a Hiroshi Iizuka viola, and a Francis M. Kuttner cello. On numerous occasions, the quartet has recorded and performed on a matched set of instruments known as the Ellen M. Egger Quartet, made in San Francisco by the late Francis M. Kuttner.

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