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Michelle Kim

Assistant Concertmaster

The William Petschek Family Chair


Violinist Michelle Kim has been Assistant Concertmaster, The William Petschek Family Chair, of the New York Philharmonic since 2001. She has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and Pacific Symphony. An active chamber musician, Kim has collaborated with violinists Cho Liang Lin, Christian Tetzlaff, and Pinchas Zukerman; cellists Mstislav Rostropovich, Lynn Harrell, and Gary Hoffman; and pianists Lang Lang and Yefim Bronfman. She has performed at various festivals including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, Strings in the Mountain, and Bravo! Vail. Kim has also served as the first violinist of the Rossetti String Quartet, and was a Sterne Virtuoso Artist at Skidmore College in 2007–08.

A student of Robert Lipsett and a former Presidential Scholar, Kim attended the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music as a Starling Foundation scholarship recipient, and considers Heiichiro Ohyama and Henry Gronnier as her mentors. She has been a member of the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music, the Colburn School, and the University of California Santa Barbara, and currently teaches at the Mannes College of Music.

“I feel very blessed to be a part of this amazing orchestra.”

Interview with Michelle Kim

THE FACTS: Born in Seoul, South Korea. Attended the Colburn School of Performing Arts and the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Prior to the Philharmonic: Concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, 20th Century Unlimited Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire Festival Orchestra, and Riverside Philharmonic. At the Philharmonic: Joined in 2001. Made solo debut in Bach's Double Concerto with Principal Associate Concertmaster Sheryl Staples. Teaches at Mannes College of Music. 

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: I started playing the piano at seven, and the violin at about eleven. I remember going to the Music Center in Los Angeles for the first time, with my violin teacher, Robert Lipsett, to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic perform the Brahms Double Concerto. I loved every minute of it.

WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL INFLUENCE? My only teacher — Robert Lipsett — but my father also had a big part in my career. He was always positive and supportive, and being a singer and conductor himself, he used to sing and beat out all the new pieces for me.

DESCRIBE YOUR JOB AS ASSISTANT CONCERTMASTER: Aside from assisting and supporting Glenn [Dicterow] and Sheryl [Staples], I also have to lead the Orchestra at times.

WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF YOUR JOB? The only difficulty is not being able to spend very much time with my family. Otherwise, I feel very blessed to be a part of this amazing orchestra.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FOUND THE DOUBLESTOP FOUNDATION, WHICH SUPPORTS ASPIRING YOUNG MUSICIANS THOUGH INSTRUMENT LOANS, RESOURCES, AND MENTORS? When I auditioned for the Philharmonic, my loaned violin was taken away. A wonderful friend, violinist Henry Gronnier, let me use his — thanks to him I made it into the Philharmonic, which owns the Stradivarius that I use now. From that experience, I decided to start an organization that would pair musicians with instruments to support their ability to perform with amazing artists. Our next step is to donate string instruments and bows to organizations that support classical music.


IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER INSTRUMENT WHAT WOULD IT BE? I would love to be a vocalist. We are all ultimately trying to sound like the voice.

WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WERE EVER GIVEN? Study the score, sing, breathe, and don’t just practice — experience life.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER MUSICIANS IN YOUR FAMILY? My father is a tenor, conductor, and composer. My mother is a homemaker, but she swears that my musical abilities come from her side of the family. My daughter, Lia, has picked up violin as a hobby, and my son, Ethan, sings in the school chorus.

As of March 2013

Upcoming 2023-2024 Performances

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