Yoonshing Song has taken over the chair left vacant since Frank Huang moved to the New York Phil three years ago

Yoonshin Song

Violinist Yoonshin Song has been announced as the Houston Symphony’s new concertmaster, ending a three-year search since the departure of Frank Huang to the New York Philharmonic.

Song has vacated the equivalent position at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, where she has been concertmaster since 2012. She will officially take the Houston position for the 2019-20 season, but will also be performing for the orchestra for its May 2019 subscription concerts.

‘The appointment of the right concertmaster is crucial to the advancement of the artistic goals of any orchestra,’ said Houston Symphony music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada.

‘Yoonshin’s exceptional musicality, artistry, experience, and personality made her our unanimous choice. I am thrilled that she will be joining us and look forward to working with her, knowing that she will enrich the musical life of our city through our work together with the orchestra.’

The orchestra revealed that it considered 39 candidates for the role, 17 of whom performed as guest concertmaster. Song’s most recent guest apperance was in November 2018 and clinched the position for her.

‘Yoonshin made a profound impression in November when she stepped in at the last minute in a very difficult program which included two rarely performed works by Scriabin and Weill,’ said Houston Symphony CEO John Mangum.

‘All of us were delighted when she decided to audition for the position, and our musicians and Andrés voted unanimously to offer her the job.’

‘You would expect it to be a difficult week but it wasn’t,’ said Song. ‘Perhaps because there was no time to think; there was a phone call and then a couple hours later I was on a plane to Houston. But most importantly because the Houston Symphony musicians were so warm and welcoming and willing to work together. The rest was just the pleasure of making music.’

Song was born in South Korea, making her debut as a soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic aged 11. Following conservatoire studies in South Korea, she went on to postgraduate programmes at the New England Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music.

Her competition successes internationally include prizes at the Stradivarius International Violin Competition (US), Young Concert Artists International Competition (US), Lipizer International Violin Competition (Italy), Henry Marteau International Violin Competition (Germany), Wieniawski International Violin Competition (Poland) and Ima Hogg International Competition (US).

As a soloist, she has performed with the Detroit Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Utah Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, the Paul Constantinescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, KBS Philharmonic Orchestra and others, and remains a busy recitalist and chamber musician.