Violinist Jinwoo Lee leaves his role as concertmaster of the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen in Germany to take up the new post 

jinwoo lee

Jinwoo Lee |

Following an international search spanning more than four years, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and music director Ken-David Masur announce the appointment of Jinwoo Lee as concertmaster beginning in the 2023/24 season. Lee is currently the first concertmaster of the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen in Germany.

’It is a great honour to be named the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra,’ said Lee. ’I am absolutely thrilled and grateful to become a member of this marvelous ensemble, and I truly look forward to getting to know my new colleagues in the orchestra, the organisation, and the city as I take on my new role.’

Lee succeeds Frank Almond, who stepped down as concertmaster at the end of the 2019/20 season, and Ilana Setapen, who has served as acting concertmaster since September 2020. She will return to her role of associate concertmaster this autumn.

’I am thrilled to welcome our new concertmaster Jinwoo Lee to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra,’ said music director Masur. ’His natural leadership gifts as well as his mindful and integrous approach to each work are qualities that will be a tremendous asset to the orchestra and a wonderful gift for Milwaukee audiences.

’Jinwoo brings a richness of cultural experiences with him, as well as an extensive performance history on the global stage. The works he led together with the orchestra during our search sparkled with energy, attentiveness to detail, a range of nuance and virtuosity, and great artistic spontaneity.’

Born in South Korea, Lee began playing the violin at the age of four. He has won prizes at numerous international competitions, including first prize at the Sorantin Competition, Texas; second and special prizes at the 2001 Rodolfo Lipizer Violin Competition, Italy; second, audience and Bach prizes at the 1999 Tibor Varga Violin Competition, Switzerland; among others.

Lee graduated from the Humboldt Grammar School in Cologne, Germany, in 2001. He studied with Stephen Clapp and Donald Weilerstein at the Juilliard School, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 2006, receiving his master’s degree under the tutelage of Robert and Nicholas Mann. Former teachers include Michael Davis, Maria Giesy, Christiane Hutcap, Hyo Kang, Jongsuk Li, Igor Ozim, Jaegwang Song, and Viktor Tretjakov.

He served on the violin faculty at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule in Düsseldorf from 2018 until 2022.

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