Metropolitan Opera welcomes violinist Angela Wee as its principal associate concertmaster

the Strad

The violinist auditioned for the position the day after flying back from a six-week tour of Asia

American violinist Angela Wee has been appointed as principal associate concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

’I am still processing the news,’ Wee told The Violin Channel. ’It all happened very quickly because I landed at JFK from Korea on a six-week tour with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle the day right before the audition. The jetlag made me delirious…but maybe in a way it helped.’

Wee recently graduated from the Juilliard School where she studied under Donald Weilerstein and Masao Kawasaki. In 2021, she was recipient of the Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship Grant and now assists in the pre-college violin and chamber faculty.

During her studies, Wee won second prize in the Sarasate International Competition and was a finalist in the Menuhin International Violin Competition in Beijing in 2012. After winning the Salomé Chamber Orchestra Competition in 2013, Wee was awarded a Stradivari on which to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Since beginning her performing career at the age of six, Wee has played as a soloist with the Navarra Symphony Orchestra, Poznań Symphony Orchestra, Polish Sinfonia Luventus Orchestra, Massapequa Philharmonic and the New York Chamber Orchestra.

Wee is the co-founder of Sana, a violin duo that performs concerts to offer solace and healing to communities, and she partners with organisations throughout New York City to promote awareness on social justice issues.

2022 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

THE VIOLIN CHANNEL

28-year-old VC Young Artist Sirena Huang from the United States has just minutes ago been awarded the Gold Medal at the 2022 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI).

A graduate of The Juilliard School and Yale University, where she studied with Stephen ClappSylvia RosenbergItzhak Perlman and Hyo Kang, Sirena is a former major prize winner at the Elmar Oliveira, Singapore and Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competitions

As the 2022 first prize recipient, Sirena will receive a USD $75,000 cash prize, a Carnegie Hall recital debut, a professional CD recording and website plus four years career management, guidance and international concert engagements.

Second and Third prizes were awarded to 22-year-old Julian Rhee from the United States and 24-year-old VC Young Artist Minami Yoshida from Japan.

Fourth, fifth and six prizes were presented to 21-year-old Claire Wells from the United States, 21-year-old VC Young Artist SooBeen Lee from South Korea and 22-year-old Joshua Brown from the United States.

Chaired by IVCI  jury president and Artistic Director Jaime Laredo, the competition jury comprised Noah Bendix-Balgley, Ivan Chan, Pamela Frank, Yuzuko Horigome, Dong-Suk Kang, Cho-Liang Lin, Mihaela Martin, and Liviu Prunaru.

Previous major prize winners of the competition include Leonidas Kavakos, Judith Ingolfsson, Sergey Khachatryan, Simone Lamsma, Mihaela Martin, Ida Kavafian — and VC Artists Richard Lin, Augustin Hadelich, Tessa Lark, and Benjamin Beilman.

All rounds of this year's competition are available now at: www.theviolinchannel.com/vc-live-2022-indianapolis-violin-competition

Photo by Denis Ryan Kelly Jr.

Cellist and double bassist to begin as LA Phil Resident Fellows

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Cellist Ismael Guerrero and double bassist Nicholas Arredondo prepare for their first season as the 2022-23 Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen LA Phil Resident Fellows 

In autumn 2022, Cuban cellist Ismael Guerrero and US double bassist Nicholas Arredondo will become the LA Philharmonic Orchestra’s Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen Resident Fellows, alongside percussionist Justin Ochoa. The fellows are selected through a screening and audition process led by musicians of the LA Phil and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel.

The fellowship, that supports historically underrepresented populations, will see the trio appointed as musicians with the LA Phil for up to three years whilst receiving a salary and benefits package.

Guerrero is currently a member of the Sphinx Organisation’s Sphinx Virtuosi ensemble. The organisation features the nation’s top Black and Latinx soloists. He is also an active member of the Colour of Music Festival, which promotes Black excellence in the arts. As a soloist, Guerrero has performed in Mexico, Switzerland, Cuba, and throughout the United States. He has recorded multiple albums for CTM Classics as a member of the Peabody Cello Gang and as principal cellist of the Mount Vernon Virtuosi.

Arredondo currently studies with Peter Lloyd at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. Arredondo has won multiple awards including the Sphinx Competition, YoungArts Award, and the Vancouver Symphony Concerto Competition. He has also worked as principal double bassist in festivals such as the Pacific Music Festival, Taipei Music Academy and Festival, Edinburgh Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, and the National Arts Centre Young Artists Programme.

The Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen LA Phil Resident Fellowship is an excellence-based training programme that launched in 2019 on the orchestra’s centennial. The fellowship’s goal is to prepare musicians from underrepresented populations to compete for, and win, positions in major professional orchestras.

Through the scheme, the recipients will have the opportunity to focus on their artistic development through orchestral, chamber music, new music, and education concerts performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and in community settings. The fellows will also work alongside existing LA Phil players in a mentorship scheme preparing the recipients for future auditions and orchestral placements.

Past recipients include violinist Sydney Adedamola, violist Jarrett Threadgill and double bassist Michael Fuller. In an interview for the scheme, Fuller said about working with Dudamel: ‘I remember one of our first concerts with Dudamel. We were playing Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. He kind of looked over and nodded to the basses. Just a little acknowledging, as if to say, “OK. I see you.”’