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NY Phil Ensembles at Merkin

Apr 7

Ensembles of Philharmonic musicians perform in intimate Merkin Hall. Hear the individual talents that make up the Orchestra and experience the passion and personality of the performers with a program that includes works by Melinda Wagner, Janáček, I. Yun, and Arensky.

Part of NY Phil Ensembles at Merkin Hall

Date / Time

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Merkin Hall


Additional Info

This concert will not be streamed on the Hauser Digital Wall.

Program to Include

Program Notes

Melinda Wagner

Elegy Flywheel (World Premiere– New York Philharmonic Commission, Part of Project 19)


String Quartet No. 1

I. Yun



Piano Trio No. 1


Gerald Karni Conductor
Kuan Cheng Lu Violin

Violinist Kuan Cheng Lu joined the New York Philharmonic at the start of the 2004–05 season — the first Taiwanese classical musician to earn a seat in the Philharmonic in its 170-year history. Lu has received numerous awards and scholarships that include the top prize in the Taiwan National Violin Competition, first prize in the ASTA string competition, the Raphael Bronstein Award, and the Taiwan Chi-Mei Corporation’s Outstanding Young Artist award. He received his bachelor’s in music degree from Oberlin College, his master’s in music from the Manhattan School of Music, and his doctor of musical arts from the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). He is an alumnus of the Music Academy of the West, now a partner in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, and has studied with former New York Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, Lisa Kim, Associate Principal, Second Violin Group, and Yoko Takebe. Other teachers have included Roland and Almita Vamos, Daniel Phillips, Julia Bushkova, as well as his father, Chung Chih Lu.

Learn more about Kuan Cheng Lu

Fiona Simon Violin

Violinist Fiona Simon, a member of the Orchestra since 1985, made her Philharmonic solo debut in November 1989, performing Vivaldi’s Concerto for Three Violins. Simon began her career in her native England, where she studied with Szymon Goldberg and won major prizes in the Carl Flesch and Jacques Thibaud competitions. For three consecutive years, she was London’s Young Artist of the Year. She has performed with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, and the English Chamber Orchestra, among others. She has also been featured in many recitals and concerts broadcast over the BBC, and has made numerous appearances throughout Europe. Simon is a member of the Vanderspar String Trio and the Simon String Quartet. She was married to the late New York Philharmonic violinist Richard Simon, and has a son, Michael Paul, a poet.

Learn more about Fiona Simon

Sharon Yamada Violin

Sharon Yamada, a member of the New York Philharmonic since 1988, has performed extensively on both the East and West Coasts. She performs regularly with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles at Merkin Hall, and has appeared with the New Jersey Chamber Music Society. Yamada has performed frequently in the summer at the Grand Teton Music Festival. Other summer activities have included the Aspen, Norfolk, and Chigiana (Siena, Italy) music festivals. Formerly assistant concertmaster of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Yamada has also appeared in concert with Orchestra New England and the Wallingford Symphony. She is a former member of the Hofstra String Quartet, which was in residence at Hofstra University.

Learn more about Sharon Yamada

Lisa Eunsoo Kim Violin

Violinist Lisa Eunsoo Kim joined the New York Philharmonic in September 1994, and was named Associate Principal, Second Violin Group, in January 2003. Previously, she was with Chicago’s Grant Park Symphony Orchestra as its youngest member. She performs and teaches frequently in South Korea and the United States. She is very active in chamber music concerts throughout the world, including the New York Philharmonic Ensembles at Merkin Hall and at David Geffen Hall, Brooklyn’s Bargemusic, and Hofstra Chamber Ensemble series. Her engagements have included a performance of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat with principals of the New York Philharmonic, participation in a Mostly Chamber Festival with Ani Kavafian and Carter Brey, and Lyric Chamber Music Society with Glenn Dicterow, Karen Dreyfus, Carter Brey, and Richard Bishop. She has also appeared with Stanley Drucker, Lukas Foss, Garrick Ohlsson, Yo-Yo Ma, and Lynn Harrell. She was appointed to the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in 1999. In April 2002 she performed with SooWon Symphony Orchestra in South Korea.  

Learn more about Lisa Eunsoo Kim

Kyung Ji Min Violin

Violinist Kyung Ji Min joined the New York Philharmonic in September 2019. Born in South Korea in 1995, she began playing the violin at age seven, studying with Hyuna Kim and graduating with highest honors from Yewon School, where she was concertmaster of the school orchestra. She received top prizes in national competitions and gave solo and chamber concerts as part of the Kumho Prodigy Concert series, supported by the Kumho Foundation. She came to the United States to study with Aaron Rosand and Shmuel Ashkenasi at the Curtis Institute of Music — where she served as assistant concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra — and subsequently studied with Sylvia Rosenberg and Ronald Copes at The Juilliard School, where she served as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra. She performed with the Verbier Chamber Orchestra in 2017 and has performed under the baton of conductors including Alan Gilbert, Rossen Milanov, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gerard Schwarz, and Osmo Vänska.

Learn more about Kyung Ji Min

Robert Rinehart Viola

Robert Rinehart, who joined the New York Philharmonic’s viola section in 1992, is a familiar figure on the New York chamber-music scene. He has appeared at the Spoleto, Vancouver Chamber Music, and Santa Fe Chamber Music festivals, and with Chamber Music Northwest and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A founding member of the Ridge String Quartet, Rinehart has performed in every major music center in the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia, Japan, and in Europe. He has collaborated with Benny Goodman, Rudolf Firkusny, and the Guarneri String Quartet, among others, and his chamber music recordings have received a Grammy Award, two Grammy nominations, and the Diapason d’Or.

Learn more about Robert Rinehart

Matthew Christakos Cello

Matthew Christakos joined the New York Philharmonic as Associate Principal Cello in January 2024. Originally from Toronto, he studied with Peter Wiley and Gary Hoffman at the Curtis Institute of Music, and has served as principal cello of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Learn more about Matthew Christakos

Nathan Vickery Cello

Lauded as a “formidable cello soloist” (The New York Times), cellist Nathan Vickery appears regularly in solo and chamber music recitals and at music festivals around the country. In a 2016 performance of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, he was celebrated for his “talent and artistry” and his “fresh and appealing account” of the work (The New York Times).

Learn more about Nathan Vickery

Alexei Yupanqui Gonzales Cello

Alexei Yupanqui Gonzales was appointed to the cello section of the New York Philharmonic in November 2012. He has served as the principal cellist of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Boston Lyric Opera. He has also been a member of the Boston Ballet Orchestra and has performed with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, Emmanuel Music under the late Craig Smith, and the Bach Ensemble with harpsichordist John Gibbons.

Learn more about Alexei Yupanqui Gonzales

Max Zeugner Bass

Associate Principal Bass Max Zeugner, The Herbert M. Citrin Chair, joined the New York Philharmonic in September 2012. Originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, he started studying classical guitar before transitioning to electric bass and finally to double bass and received lessons from the Joy of Music Program and Burncoat High School’s Music Magnet Program. After attending a summer chamber music workshop at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in Nelson, New Hampshire, he shifted his focus from jazz to classical. He began taking lessons at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School with bassist Deborah Dunham and studied with Richard Hartshorne. He joined youth orchestras in Boston and in 2001 he was runner up at the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. He went on to become a scholarship student of New York Philharmonic bassist Orin O’Brien at The Juilliard School and Edwin Barker at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where he won the 2005 Concerto Competition.

Learn more about Max Zeugner

Rion Wentworth Bass

Bassist Rion Wentworth joined the New York Philharmonic in May 2016. Previously, he worked extensively in New York City as a freelance musician and performed with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the San Diego Symphony. He served as a faculty member and assistant principal bass of the Eastern Music Festival for two years, and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, where he has taught since 2012. Wentworth studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Juilliard School, and the Aspen Music Festival and School, where his teachers included New York Philharmonic bassist Orin O’Brien as well as Lynn Peters and Chris Hanulik. His primary teacher and mentor has been Eugene Levinson, former Principal Bass of the New York Philharmonic, with whom Wentworth studied at Juilliard, earning his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Wentworth plays on a 1710 Pietro Giacomo Rogeri bass formerly owned by legendary jazz bassist Percy Heath, on extended loan by Barrie Kolstein, former owner of Samuel Kolstein & Son Violinmakers in New York.

Learn more about Rion Wentworth

Pascual Martínez Forteza Clarinet

A native of Mallorca, Spain, clarinetist Pascual Martínez Forteza, The Honey M. Kurtz Family Chair, joined the New York Philharmonic in 2001. Prior to his appointment with the Philharmonic, he held tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and at age 18 he was assistant principal and later acting principal of the Baleares Symphony Orchestra in Spain. He has also performed as guest principal clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle.

Learn more about Pascual Martínez Forteza

Daniel Druckman Percussion

Percussionist Daniel Druckman is active as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and recording artist, concertizing throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composer’s Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic’s Horizons concerts, the San Francisco Symphony’s "New and Unusual Music Series," and in recital in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tokyo. He has been a member of the New York Philharmonic since 1991, where he serves as Associate Principal Percussionist, and has made numerous guest appearances with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the American Brass Quintet, the Group for Contemporary Music, Orpheus, Steve Reich and Musicians, and the Philip Glass Ensemble. Druckman has also participated in chamber music festivals at Santa Fe, Ravinia, Saratoga, Caramoor, Bridgehampton, Tanglewood, and Aspen.

Learn more about Daniel Druckman

Eric Huebner Piano

Pianist Eric Huebner has drawn worldwide acclaim for his performances of new and traditional music since making his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at age 17. In January 2012 he was appointed pianist of the New York Philharmonic and holds the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Piano Chair. From 2001 through 2012, Huebner was a member of Antares, a quartet comprised of clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. First-prize winner of the 2002 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Antares appeared regularly in major chamber music venues throughout the United States and worked closely with many composers on the commissioning of new works for its combination.

Learn more about Eric Huebner

Hanna Hyunjung Kim Piano

Pianist Hanna Hyunjung Kim has won top prizes at several international piano competitions, including Gina Bachauer, Asia Chopin, Taipei Chopin, Hamamatsu International, Rhodes International, and Seoul International. She also received both second prize and the special jury award at the 2010 Paderewski International Piano Competition. In 2016 she won first prize at Japan’s Sendai International Music Competition. As part of this prize she recorded and released performances of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 19 with the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra. Kim has collaborated with conductors such as Kazuki Yamada, Shao-Chia Liu, and Tatsuya Shimono; with orchestras such as the Osaka Philharmonic, Japan Philharmonic, and Hiroshima Symphony; and performed at venues such as Tokyo Metropolitan Hall, Tokyo Hamarikyu Asahi Hall, and Taiwan National Concert Hall. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Korea National University of Arts and later received a full scholarship to attend the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her master’s of music degree and artist diploma. In September 2022 Kim joined the New York City Ballet Orchestra as principal pianist.

Learn more about Hanna Hyunjung Kim


The New York Philharmonic Ensembles concerts are funded, in part, by the Zubin Mehta Fund for the Orchestra, an endowment fund created to honor the accomplishments of the Philharmonic’s former Music Director, Zubin Mehta.

These performances of Melinda Wagner’s Elegy Flywheel are made possible with generous support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts.