New York Phil nabs Houston concertmaster

New York Phil nabs Houston concertmaster


norman lebrecht

April 08, 2015

The new NY #1 is to be Frank Huang, presently concertmaster of the Houston Symphony.

He succeeds the retired Glenn Dicterow after a search process that lasted almost two years.

Statement: ‘More than any other musician, the concertmaster shapes the persona of an orchestra, and in Frank Huang we have found just the right mix of virtuosity, flair, musicality, and collegiality,” said Music Director Alan Gilbert. “After our very comprehensive search, during which we heard many strong candidates, the musicians of the search committee and I unanimously agreed that Frank would both fit right in to the New York Philharmonic and push it to even greater heights. I am thrilled and proud to be announcing this most important appointment.’


Frank Huang was born in Beijing, China. At the age of seven he moved to Houston, Texas, where he began violin lessons with his mother. He commenced study with Fredell Lack at the University of Houston and at 16 he enrolled in the pre-college program at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) where he studied with Donald Weilerstein. He continued studies with Weilerstein in college and earned his bachelor of music degree from CIM in 2002. Subsequently he attended The Juilliard School in New York City, studying violin with Robert Mann. Mr. Huang, who began his tenure as concertmaster of the Houston Symphony in 2010, also serves on the faculties of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the University of Houston.


  • Robert Levin says:

    I managed Frank’s career right after he won the Naumburg Competition in 2003. He is a brilliant violinist who could have achieved a major solo career if he had desired such a life. Instead, he chose an orchestral career becoming concertmaster of the Houston Symphony. The New York Philharmonic musicians are fortunate to have him as their concertmaster. Glenn Dicterow is a tough act to follow, but I have no doubt that Frank will pave his own way and enjoy much respect and success.

  • Nick Si says:

    What a fantastic player and musician!

  • Jules says:

    Frank was also the first violinist for the Ying Quartet–a position he left to take up the post in Houston. An extraordinary person and player. Congrats, and well-earned.

  • Jewelyard says:

    Terrific news, one of the most gifted players I know and a hell of a nice guy. Congrats Frank!

  • herrera says:

    It is highly irresponsible for Gilbert to appoint his concertmaster when he’s about to leave in 2 years. His successor will surely bring in his/her own concertmaster, as is the practice with elite maestros. The speed with which the concertmaster exits depends on the longevity and relationship of the existing concertmaster with the orchestra, and the relative clout of the music director. A Gilbert replacing a Dicterow would have set off a riot, but a Rattle or a Barenboim replacing a Huang would cause a yawn.

    Good luck to all concerned. They need it.

    • Emeritus Prof Doug Grant says:

      What an awful comment!

    • Larry W says:

      For those of us who know Frank, this misinformed comment has caused a yawn.

    • Gerhard says:

      You state that it is “the practice with elite maestros” to bring their “own concertmaster” along when they start a new job. If there ever was a period for which this claim has any basis in reality, it must have been way more than half a century ago. High time for an update!

      • Andrew Condon says:

        Alexander Barantschik followed MTT from the LSO to San Francisco 20 years ago. I cant think of any other comparable situations where this has happened

    • Jewelyard says:

      Wow what an asinine comment. Frank doesn’t need your good luck wishes – any MD will be thrilled to have someone of his caliber as their concertmaster.

  • shenyeh says:

    The best live performance of Sibelius Violin Concerto I have ever heard in my life so far(while playing in the orchestra), was Frank’s debut with LA Phil in Hollywood Bowl almost a decade ago. That performanc is a memory of a life time on the highest caliber. With this new pisition, I look forward to seeing more of his playing on TV.

  • Andrew Condon says:

    He recorded an excellent CD for Naxos at the start of his career; violin fantasies by Schubert, Schoenberg and others. Well worth hearing

  • bratschegirl says:

    Bravo Frank! A wonderful violinist and musician eminently deserving of such honors.