Chicago Symphony Orchestra Announces Two New Violinists

CHICAGO-Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti and CSO Association (CSOA) President Jeff Alexander announce the appointment of two new viola section members: Sunghee Choi and Youming Chen.

Sunghee Choi officially joined the Orchestra last week (October 26) for its just-completed U.S. tour, which included performances in Kansas City, MO; Ann Arbor, MI; and Chapel Hill, NC, with Muti.

Prior to her appointment to the CSO, Choi was a member of the viola section for the orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago from 2013-2015. She was also a member of the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra from 2011-2015. A regular substitute with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Choi appeared as soloist in her native Korea with the Seoul and Sunhwa symphony orchestras, and has received numerous honors and awards for solo and chamber music performances.

Choi received her Bachelor's degree from the Seoul National University, her Master's and Graduate Diploma from New England Conservatory of Music, and is a doctoral candidate at Rutgers, State University of New Jersey. Her primary teachers included Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Viola Choong-Jin Chang and New York Philharmonic Assistant Principal Viola Lisa Kim, among others.

Youming Chen joins the CSO's viola section on February 1, 2016, from the Kansas City Symphony, where he has served as associate principal viola since 2013. He was a member of that orchestra's viola section from 2012 to 2013. He is also a member of the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, and was principal viola with the Juilliard Orchestra in 2005, the year it made its centennial tour.

Chen received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, his Master's degree from The Juilliard School, a professional diploma from Mannes College of Music and his Doctorate from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His instructors have included Paul Neubauer, Hsin-Yun Huang and Yizhak Schotten.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra: and
Founded in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Since 2010, the preeminent conductor Riccardo Muti has served as its 10th music director. Pierre Boulez is the CSO's Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus, Yo-Yo Ma is its Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, and Samuel Adams and Elizabeth Ogonek are its Mead Composers-in-Residence.

From baroque through contemporary music, the CSO commands a vast repertoire. Its renowned musicians annually perform more than 150 concerts, most at Symphony Center in Chicago and, each summer, at the suburban Ravinia Festival. They regularly tour nationally and internationally. Since 1892, the CSO has made 58 international tours, performing in 29 countries on five continents.

People around the globe listen to weekly radio broadcasts of CSO concerts and recordings on the WFMT radio network and online at Recordings by the CSO have earned 62 Grammy Awards, including two in 2011 for Muti's recording with the CSO and Chorus of Verdi's Messa da Requiem (Muti's first of four releases with the CSO to date). Find details on these and many other CSO recordings at

The CSO is part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, which also includes the Chicago Symphony Chorus (Duain Wolfe, Director and Conductor) and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, a training ensemble for emerging professionals. Through its prestigious Symphony Center Presents series, the CSOA presents guest artists and ensembles from a variety of genres-classical, jazz, world, and contemporary.

The Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO offers community and education programs that annually engage more than 200,000 people of diverse ages and backgrounds. Through the Institute and other activities, including a free annual concert with Muti and the CSO, the CSO is committed to using the power of music to create connections and build community.

The CSO is supported by thousands of patrons, volunteers and institutional and individual donors. Bank of America is the Global Sponsor of the CSO. The CSO's music director position is endowed in perpetuity by a generous gift from the Zell Family Foundation. The Negaunee Foundation provides generous support in perpetuity for the work of the Negaunee Music Institute.

Related Articles View More Classical Music Stories

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram