THE FACTS: Born in Seoul, South Korea.
Attended the Colburn School of Performing
Arts and the University of Southern
California Thornton School of Music. Prior
to the Philharmonic: Concertmaster of the
Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Fresno
Philharmonic, 20th Century Unlimited
Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire
Festival Orchestra, and Riverside Philharmonic.
At the Philharmonic: Joined in 2001.
Made solo debut in Bach's Double
Concerto with Principal Associate
Concertmaster Sheryl Staples. Teaches at
Mannes College of Music.
EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: I started playing
the piano at seven, and the violin at
about eleven. I remember going to the
Music Center in Los Angeles for the first
time, with my violin teacher, Robert
Lipsett, to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic
perform the Brahms Double Concerto. I loved every minute of it.
WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL
INFLUENCE? My only teacher — Robert
Lipsett — but my father also had a big
part in my career. He was always positive
and supportive, and being a singer and
conductor himself, he used to sing and
beat out all the new pieces for me.
DESCRIBE YOUR JOB AS ASSISTANT CONCERTMASTER:
Aside from assisting and supporting
Glenn [Dicterow] and Sheryl [Staples],
I also have to lead the Orchestra at times.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF YOUR
JOB? The only difficulty is not being able
to spend very much time with my family.
Otherwise, I feel very blessed to be a part
of this amazing orchestra.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FOUND THE DOUBLESTOP FOUNDATION, WHICH SUPPORTS ASPIRING YOUNG MUSICIANS THOUGH INSTRUMENT LOANS, RESOURCES, AND MENTORS? When I auditioned for the Philharmonic, my loaned violin was taken away. A wonderful friend, violinist Henry Gronnier, let me use his — thanks to him I made it into the Philharmonic, which owns the Stradivarius that I use now. From that experience, I decided to start an organization that would pair musicians with instruments to support their ability to perform with amazing artists. Our next step is to donate string instruments and bows to organizations that support classical music.
MOST INSPIRING COMPOSERS: Mozart and
IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER INSTRUMENT WHAT
WOULD IT BE? I would love to be a vocalist. We are all
ultimately trying to sound like the voice.
WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WERE EVER GIVEN? Study the score, sing, breathe, and don’t just practice — experience life.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER MUSICIANS IN YOUR
FAMILY? My father is a tenor, conductor, and composer. My mother is a homemaker, but she swears that my musical abilities come from her side of the family. My daughter, Lia, has picked up violin as a hobby, and my son, Ethan, sings in the school chorus.
As of March 2013