Dawn raid: Detroit snatches highly-rated cellist from New York Philharmonic

Wei Yu, 34, a New York Philharmonic cellist since 2007, has been named principal with Leonard Slatkin’s DSO. ‘Every aspect of his audition with us was spectacular,’ said Slatkin, ‘from the solo spotlight to his leadership of the section during his trial week.’

Still, Detroit??

Actually, it looks like smart career move. Detroit is renewing its audience with buzzy student offers and is getting more streaming time than other US orchs. Wei Yu, Shanghai born,  can be seen by his family back home.

This is a cellist who made his solo debut at 11 with the Shanghai Symphony in the Elgar concerto.

He takes the seat of Robert deMaine, who left Detroit in 2013 for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

wei yu


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  • Detroit has risen from the ashes like a phoenix and is on the rise now,thanks to the wonderful Lenny Slatkin and a smart and carin+g management!Hope +the same will happen in Atlanta after the nightmare is over there!

    • Not to mention the very first SAVE OUR SYMPHONY audience advocacy group, which continues to keep management on its toes. SOS Detroit has been very gracious in its guiding of orchestra audience advocacy groups in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and now Atlanta. Management did NOT create this miracle alone.

  • To go from a section player to principal is a big career step. I would guess this young fellow has his sights set much higher so don’t count on him ‘contributing’ a great deal to the community. Everything he does is surely calculated.

    • “To go from a section player to principal is a big career step…”

      It’s not like there are a lot of other intermediate steps to take instead from where he is now.

      I suppose one might aspire to be on the side of the stand that doesn’t have to turn the pages, but after that…

  • Other cellists leaving the NY Phil for principal jobs in the last number of years include Hai- Ye NI for Philadelphia and Brinton Smith for Houston. The Phil has a lot of fine players in its strings.

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