Na Sun, Violin
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All concerts and events through June 13, 2021 are cancelled. Learn more about our response to COVID-19. Support the Philharmonic by donating your tickets.
Na Sun

Violinist Na Sun joined the New York Philharmonic in June 2006 and holds The Gary W. Parr Chair. A native of China, she began playing the violin at age seven, and at nine, was accepted into the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. After attending the conservatory’s elementary, middle, and high schools, she received her bachelor of arts degree there with highest honors, studying with Yao-ji Lin, and was the winner of the conservatory violin competition. She received her artist diploma from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts in 2005, studying with Roman Totenberg, and was the grand prize winner of the university’s Bach competition.

Ms. Sun, who has performed in numerous recital and chamber music concerts since arriving in the U.S. in 2003, was a fellow with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in 2005, and served as concertmaster in a program led by James Levine. She attended the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine, and the National Orchestra Institute in Maryland, both on full scholarship.

Ms. Sun has performed with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Icelandic National Opera Orchestra. Previously, she was concertmaster of the China Youth Symphony Orchestra; principal of the second violin section at the Central Conservatory Chamber Orchestra; and was the soloist in Brahms’s Violin Concerto with the Xiamen Symphony Orchestra in China, conducted by Michael Feldman.

“I came to the U.S. in 2003 when I was 23. Being accepted into the Philharmonic was a life-changing moment for me.”

Q&A with Na Sun

THE FACTS: Born in Huainan, China. Bachelor of arts, Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing; artist diploma from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. Prior to the Philharmonic: Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and Icelandic National Opera Orchestra. Fellow at Tanglewood Music Center and at Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. Performed as soloist in Brahms’s Violin Concerto with Xiamen Symphony Orchestra under Michael Feldman. Concertmaster of the China Youth Symphony Orchestra. At the Philharmonic: Joined in June 2006.

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: There was always music at home. My father is a composer who played bass and drums in a band; my mother was a singer and an elementary school music teacher. When I was seven she bought me a little violin, but I didn’t like having class lessons with a lot of people, so my father taught me at home. I won a little prize in the province after a few months, and when I was nine I got into the Central Conservatory. My mom quit her job and went with me to Beijing; I was there for 14 years. I came to the U.S. in 2003. Being accepted into the Philharmonic was a lifechanging moment for me.

WHO WERE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL INFLUENCES? My teachers Yao-ji Lin in China, Roman Totenberg in Boston, and Philharmonic violinist Yoko Takebe in New York

WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN? At a very early stage. In China we start to focus seriously on music as children, and if you’re selected to go to the conservatory, it means that you will become a musician. It’s a very competitive business even to audition for that school.

WERE YOU INVOLVED IN ANY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES IN HIGH SCHOOL? I liked to draw and wanted to be a designer, but my inspiration stopped in high school.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH THE ORCHESTRA: Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with Lorin Maazel, and Opening Night 2006. Standing and playing the National Anthem was a special moment for me — my first job in America!

MOST INSPIRING COMPOSERS: Bach, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO RECENTLY? The other day I listened to Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture. I had goosebumps. Usually I listen to whatever we’re playing at the Philharmonic.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? Study philosophy and cooking.

 As of April 2013

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