Ahead of its centenary, the orchestra has appointed a new principal violist and expanded the cello section by a third 


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The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has announced the appointments of five new string players including its new principal violist, a violinist and three cellists – expanding the cello section by a third.  

The new appointments (including associate principal oboist and principal librarian) come ahead of the orchestras new season marking its centennial. 

‘I find it incredibly fitting that these seven gifted artists, who represent the next generation of music-makers, are joining us,’ TSO chief executive officer, Mark Williams said. ‘I look forward to the ways their varied backgrounds, experiences, and insights will benefit the Orchestra, and in turn, how the Orchestra will continue to grow and deepen its service to this wonderful city.’ 

Michael Casimir, the TSO’s new principal violist, has previously performed with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, and appeared as guest principal and co-principal for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  

Casimir has won several awards including second place in the 2015 and 2011 International Sphinx Competitions, the Grand Prize at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Competition in 2013.  

A graduate of both the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, Casimir has studied with Roberto Díaz, Heidi Castleman and Hsin-Yun Huang. 

TSO’s new violinist Luri Lee, is a founding member of the multi-award-winning Rolston Quartet. Together, the quartet has won the Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, first prize at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition, and Grand Prize at the 31st Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and the Astral Artists National Auditions. 

Lee has appeared as a soloist with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. 

The three cello appointments go to Song Hee Lee, Oleksander Mycyk and Lucia Ticho.  

In a post on social media Song Hee Lee said: ‘I’m so thrilled and thankful to announce that I will be start working at Toronto Symphony Orchestra! 10 years of my life in US was priceless and I am so glad that I have so many good memories with beautiful people. Wish me luck for my new journey in Canada 🇨🇦!!’ 

Lee has been principal cellist with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Music Academy of the West Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, and Jacobs School of Music Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also been guest principal with the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, and an assistant principal with the Tongyeong International Music Festival Orchestra and Symphony S.O.N.G. in Korea. 

Oleksander Mycyk has performed with the Chicago Civic Orchestra and appeared as substitute cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Philharmonic. During his studies at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, he co-authored the book PracticeMind: The Complete Practice Model, a pedagogical guide for all string players with his professor, Hans Jørgen Jensen. 

Lucia Ticho has performed with the Houston Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and the Classical Tahoe Orchestra. An advocate for new music, she has appeared with Loop38, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, AXIOM, the New Juilliard Ensemble, and the Shepherd School Contemporary Ensemble.