Females who are currently concertmasters

April 28, 2015 at 07:57 PM · Other than Erin Keefe in Minnesota, Holly Mulcahy in Chattanooga, and Kay Sloan w/San Francisco Opera, can you share the names of current female concertmasters? Please limit it to the top 75 or so orchestras.(We have 2 right here in Tulsa, but our budgets just are not at that level.)

Replies (32)

April 28, 2015 at 08:15 PM · And I forgot Yumi Hwang-Williams with Colorado.

April 28, 2015 at 08:19 PM · Grretings,

genuinely interested. Do we still talk about femal concertMASTERS. Soory for the caps. Lauries last post on the Julliard week included a brilliant lady who has been around for yonks. Great player who does Akexander Technique.

Name eludes me as usual.



April 28, 2015 at 10:16 PM · Sarah Kwak out here in the Oregon Symphony.

April 28, 2015 at 10:41 PM · Alexander technique ... supposed to cut knots, isn't it?

Stephen, I gather that "Concertmistresses" is now a no-no (although the Wikipedia article on Iona Brown calls her just that - in the singular of course), and I didn't read about Nicola Benedetti giving mistress classes. However, in the UK we have a perfect solution to the problem; no, NOT "don't HAVE female concertmasters", though this would certainly make sense. No, the one you call the Concertmaster of the orchestra we Brits call the Leader - We had Iona Brown (I think I ought to correct Wikipedia, British terms for the Brits and all that).

April 28, 2015 at 11:09 PM · good job I'm a Brit.

Thanks John.

April 29, 2015 at 01:34 AM · My friend Lauren Roth is the concertmaster (or mistress...) in Tucson.

April 29, 2015 at 01:38 AM · How about internationally? I-ching Li is one of the two concertmasters of Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra.

April 29, 2015 at 01:52 AM · Albena Danailova is the concertmaster of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra (even though she is listed as one of the four concertmasters of the Vienna Philharmonic).

April 29, 2015 at 04:36 AM · US orchestras please.

April 29, 2015 at 04:43 AM · Great idea for a thread -- of course, I'm perfectly interested in hearing about female concertmasters anywhere, not just the U.S. You can pick out the 75 U.S. ones, if we come up with them, if you need that for something!

Buri, I'm not remembering that one!

April 29, 2015 at 06:05 AM · Nurit Bar-Josef: National Symphony

Yoonshin Song: Detroit Symphony

Juliana Athayde: Rochester Philharmonic

Susanna Perry Gilmore: Omaha Symphony

Jessica Hung: Dayton Philharmonic

April 29, 2015 at 06:40 AM · something like Flonzales?

April 29, 2015 at 07:33 AM · Buri, do you mean Jorja Fleezanis? She was concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1989 to 2009.

April 29, 2015 at 10:01 AM · what would I do without you?

April 29, 2015 at 10:38 AM · Buri, thanks for making that clear - I'd got the idea you were Japanese. I'm no longer QUITE so impressed with your evident command of British language and culture.

Mind you I should have realized - Japanese don't burp, do they? (Mind you, Guy Wright's persona Elmer J Burpalot, of the Bernard Robinson music camps and the Fritz Spiegl extravaganze was invented as an AMERICAN tycoon).

April 29, 2015 at 12:54 PM · Here are some more. I am not sure all of these are current, and I apologize if I am duplicating any who were already mentioned:

Albany: Jill Levy

Atlanta Ballet: Lisa Morrison

Austin: Jessica Matthaes

Baton Rouge: Borislava Iltcheva

Brooklyn Phil: Laura Park Chen

Canton: Lauren Roth

Cleveland Opera: Lenora Leggatt

Colorado: YuMi Hwang-Williams

Dayton: Jessica Hung

Delaware: Dayna Anderson

Detroit: Yoonshin Song

Elgin: Isabella Lippi

Houston Ballet / Houston Grand Opera: Denise Couch Tarrant

Hudson Valley Phil: Carole Cowan

Kalamazoo: Diana Cohen

Las Vegas Phil: DeAnn Letourneau

Long Island Phil: Erica Kiesewetter

Los Angeles Chamber: Margaret Batjer

Memphis: Susanna Perry Gilmore

Michigan Opera Theatre: Charlotte Merkerson

Mississippi: Marta Kirk

New West Symphony: Elizabeth Pitcairn

New York Pops: Erica Kiesewetter

Northeastern Pennsylvania Phil: Erica Kiesewetter

Oakland East Bay: Terrie Baune, Dawn Harms (co-CMs)

Oregon: Sarah Kwak

Palm Beach Opera: Laura Hilgemann Miller

Pasadena (CA): Aimee Kreston

Chamber Orch. of Philadelphia; Gloria Justen

Richmond: Karen Johnson

Rochester Phil: Juliana Athayde

San Francisco Opera: Kay Stern

Symphony Silicon Valley: Robin Mayforth

South Bend: Zofia Glashauser

Springfield (MA): Masako Yanagita

West Virginia: Amelia Chan

April 29, 2015 at 01:54 PM · Katherine Winterstein- Vermont Symphony Orchestra

April 29, 2015 at 02:11 PM · Joyce, I was thinking of Jorja as a teacher ( because she's such a good one ), but you are right! Thank you for your good memory!

April 29, 2015 at 03:04 PM · Roanoke Symphony Orchestra: Akemi Takayama

Sorry if it's not "top 75" to you but this is a darn good orchestra under the baton of a great maestro, David Stewart Wiley, and it's the best orchestra within 100 miles of my house, and furthermore, Akemi is one hell of a fine violinist, later this year she is playing the Brahms with RSO here in Blacksburg, I can hardly wait.

April 29, 2015 at 04:17 PM · Don't know if we make 'top 75" either, but Ruth Lenz - Reno Philharmonic

April 29, 2015 at 05:27 PM · I heard Erin Keefe play Brahms 3rd Sonata last year and her performance blew me away.

[EDITED]I think that Opera Colorado has a female concertmaster, but those silly rabbits don't post that information.

I was incorrect. I was thinking of Lydia Svyatloskaya, who is the concertmaster of the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

April 29, 2015 at 08:34 PM · "Roanoke Symphony Orchestra: Akemi Takayama"

Thanks for that, Paul. I didn't know her name, but she briefly tried out my first 3/4 before it was quite completed and apparently was mildly impressed. I wasn't present.

April 29, 2015 at 10:35 PM · Violetta Todorova, Illinois Symphony Orchestra

(Although I have no idea where Illinois Symphony ranks among U.S. orchestras.)

April 29, 2015 at 10:49 PM · "those silly rabbits don't post that information" - Too busy having babies, I suppose ...

April 30, 2015 at 12:51 AM · Aisslinn Nosky is a concert-master of Handel and Haydn society

April 30, 2015 at 01:53 AM · Diana Cohen, Calgary Philharmonic

Gwen Hoebig, Winnipeg Symphony

Marie Bérard, Canadian Opera Company

Bénédicte Lauzière, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony

Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik, Chief Artistic Advisor, founder, leader and Music Director

April 30, 2015 at 02:33 AM · Just saw this.

April 30, 2015 at 02:37 AM · I am pretty sure that Marta Kirk (Mississippi) goes by Marta Szlubowska now.

April 30, 2015 at 02:50 PM · U.S. Marine Band: Claudia Chudacoff

Regarding Eric's excellent list:

Canton's current concertmaster is Justine Lamb-Budge.

Memphis' concertmaster is vacant but the acting concertmaster is also a female: Barrie Cooper.

Karen Johnson is no longer the concertmaster in Richmand.

Laurie, my memory cannot take credit for this one - I cheated by googling [site:violinist.com "Laurie Niles" "Alexander Technique" Juilliard], and "Master Class with Jorja Fleezanis" was the first result...

April 30, 2015 at 07:56 PM · @Paul Deck-Glad to hear that Roanoke Symphony is still going strong David Wiley is terrific I haven't played down there in a long while, great memories.

@Joyce Lin-I played a quartet gig with Claudia Chudacoff she's soooooo good, kept me on my toes LOL!


April 30, 2015 at 09:23 PM · Dear Joyce,

don't be so hard on yourself. Not only did you remember how to use a computer but also that funny word 'goggles' that people seem to bandy around so much these days,


May 1, 2015 at 07:57 AM · Outside the US, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Laura Samuel (ex-Belcea quartet). Previous leader was Elizabeth Layton.

Royal Scottish National - Maya Iwabuchi (one of 2 or 3 leaders)

Must be something in the water.....

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