Yoobin Son, Flute

The New York Philharmonic

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Biography
Yoobin Son

Flutist Yoobin Son became a member of the New York Philharmonic in November 2012, the first Korean to join the Orchestra’s woodwind section. She has also served as principal flute of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and principal flute of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to performing with the New York Philharmonic, Ms. Son is an active soloist. She has performed with notable ensembles all over the world, including the Seoul Philharmonic, Prime Philharmonic, New Haven Symphony, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and Bay Atlantic Symphony. She has also appeared in recitals throughout the world, including the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago and the Young Artist Series of the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation in Seoul, South Korea.

A passionate chamber musician, Ms. Son has appeared in many notable chamber music festivals, including the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and Music from Angel Fire in New Mexico. As a firm believer in the importance of music education, Ms. Son served as a member of Ensemble Connect, formerly known as Ensemble ACJW, in which she actively participated in music education across New York City. She continues to pursue her passion as a mentor, holding an adjunct professor position at New York University. She also teaches privately and gives master classes around the world.

Yoobin Son’s honors and awards include 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 of music degree from Yale University, and professional studies certificate and artist diploma from the Manhattan School of Music. Her principal teachers have included Philharmonic Principal Flute 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
Upcoming 2018-2019 Performances
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January, 2019 Sunday

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