Chicago Symphony announces two new principals

Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 9:29 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Stephanie Jeong

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has announced hires for two major principal positions.

Violinist Stephanie Jeong has been named to the new post of associate concertmaster and Stephen Williamson is the orchestra’s new principal clarinetist.

Jeong comes to the CSO from the New York Philharmonic where she has been a member since November of 2010. She was the top prize winner in the 2008 Paganini Violin Competition. The 24-year-old violinist grew up in Chicago, where she studied with Betty Haag Kuhnke. In 1997 she became one of the youngest students ever accepted into Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute at the age of 9, where she studied with Aaron Rosand and earned her bachelor’s degree. She attended Juilliard where she earned her master’s degree and studied with Cho-Liang Lin and Ronald Copes.

Stephen Williamson

Stephen Williamson, the CSO’s new principal clarinetist, is currently performing with the orchestra on its European tour. Williamson has served as principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2003. Previously he was principal of Seiji Ozawa’s Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra.

These two appointments are the first hires by Riccardo Muti since becoming music director. Muti appointed Lora Schaefer to the oboe section as music director designate in 2009.

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