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Biography
Yoobin Son

Flutist Yoobin Son was the first Korean to join the New York Philharmonic’s wind section when she became a member of the Orchestra in November 2012. She has served as the principal flute of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and principal flute of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Son has performed as a soloist with ensembles including the New Haven, New Jersey, Florida, William Paterson University, and Korean symphony orchestras, and the Prime and Seoul Philharmonic orchestras. She has appeared in recital throughout the United States, among them the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, as well as on the Young Artist Series of the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation in Seoul, South Korea.

A dedicated chamber musician, Ms. Son has participated at festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival and Music from Angel Fire. She is an alumna of Carnegie Hall’s The Academy, where she was an active performer in the acclaimed Ensemble ACJW. As part of the Academy’s fellowship program, Ms. Son was a teaching artist at P.S. 207K in Brooklyn.

She has received honors including the Grand Prize at the Florida Orchestra Young Artist Competition, First Prize at the National Flute Association Soloist Competition, Second Prize at the Koussevitzky International Winds Competition, and the Conductor’s Award at the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Auditions.

Yoobin Son received her bachelor of music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music, master’s degree from Yale University, and professional studies and artist diploma from the Manhattan School of Music. Her principal teachers have included Robert Langevin, Ransom Wilson, Jeffrey Khaner, and Bradley Garner.

“My grandfather is Seog Woo Son, a Korean pop composer-lyricist who was famous in the 1950s and '60s. When I wanted to become a musician at such a young age my parents were a little concerned, but he was very supportive from the beginning.”

Q&A with Yoobin Son
THE FACTS: Born in Seoul, South Korea. Bachelor of music from Curtis Institute of Music; master's degree from Yale University; professional studies and artist diploma from the Manhattan School of Music. Prior to the Philharmonic: principal flute of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and principal flute of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. At the Philharmonic: Joined November 2012.

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: When I was about five I was traveling with my parents, and the tour bus showed a video of a flutist playing Bizet's L'Arlésienne Suite. I remember the sound was so beautiful, and the tone was so clear.

MOST INSPIRING COMPOSER: I love the Romantic symphonic works of Brahms and Schumann. They speak to me.

FIRST PIECE YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH: Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. I was seven or eight, and I remember listening to it over and over, even in the bath. I wanted it to be on all the time.

HOW DID YOU START ON THE FLUTE? When I was nine my mom started flute lessons because she heard from an unidentified source that playing flute would help you lose weight and stay healthy because of the breathing exercises. After a couple of lessons she said she got too dizzy, so she didn't continue. I said I wanted to play flute.

WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL INFLUENCE? Philharmonic Principal Flute Robert Langevin, my most recent teacher. Being an orchestra musician can be very stressful, but I see him and think: it's just going to be fun. All of my teachers have inspired me, and I'm thankful to them.

ARE THERE OTHER MUSICIANS IN YOUR FAMILY? My grandfather is Seog Woo Son, a Korean pop composer-lyricist who was famous in the 1950s and '60s. When I wanted to become a musician at such a young age my parents were a little concerned, but he was very supportive from the beginning.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SEASON AT THE PHILHARMONIC? The tour of Europe — I love being in new places and playing in new halls for new audiences.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME? I go to parks with my dog, Chloe, and walk a lot. That's what I love about New York — you can walk everywhere, and every neighborhood is different. You never get tired of it.

As of September 2014
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