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Yoonshin Song Wins DSO Concertmaster Job

Considered "major artistic coup"

NEC Alumna Yoonshin Song ’06 M.M. ’08 G.D. Chosen Concertmaster of Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Studied with Donald Weilerstein

Won Stradivarius Competition and Second Prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions

Violinist Yoonshin Song ’06 M.M. ’08 G.D., a former student of Donald Weilerstein, who occupies the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin, has been named Concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Her engagement was described as a “major artistic coup” by the Detroit Free Press in its announcement of the news. Song, who had previously won the 2007 Stradivarius Competition and a second prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, has been serving as a first violinist in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Hiring an outstanding new concertmaster is widely seen as an important step in rebuilding the DSO, which in the last year suffered a damaging contract dispute, strike, and curtailed season. The previous concertmaster, Emmanuelle Boisvert, resigned in the wake of the contract settlement. 

DSO Artistic Director Leonard Slatkin praised Song for her “rich and sonorous sound” and the way she “interacted with me and the [first violin] section.” Adam Stepniewski, acting principal second violin” commented that Song fit into the orchestra from the very first rehearsal “as if she had been playing with the ensemble for years. But she also asserted her own personality in a way that made others follow.”

For further information on string training at NEC, check the NEC Website.


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory in Boston, MA offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, contemporary improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Programs and Partnerships Program, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music, jazz, and contemporary improvisation.

NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, century-old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz, contemporary improvisation, and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115