Philharmonic violinist steps up as cardiac surgeon

Philharmonic violinist steps up as cardiac surgeon


norman lebrecht

December 24, 2015

Dawn Hui is a Juilliard-trained violinist who played tutti in the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Today, she’s Asst. Professor Surgery at St Louis University Hospital.

Around Christmas time, Dawn pulls on a sweater and plays for the patients.



And read more here.


dawn hui


  • Geo says:

    Life is so unfair. Some people scoop all the brains and talent while others (me) get zilch!

  • ruben greenberg says:

    I had a friend who was a brain surgeon and an excellent amateur violinist. He was fond of saying: “I’m an amateur violinist and a professional brain-surgeon and it’s just as well it isn’t the other way around.”

  • Anon2 says:

    Well, good for her! But doctors who are accomplished musicians are nothing new! First to come to mind, for example, is the World Doctor’s Orchestra, a top flight ensemble made
    up entirely of physicians!

    Another that stands out is the Los Angeles Doctors’ Orchestra. They appear a little more
    broadminded and include veterinarians.

    There are tons of these all doctor orchestras around the world. They’re in financial situations which allow them to buy the best instruments, hire good conductors, and feature themselves as soloists.

    There are even a handful of doctors who’ve successfully forged dual careers in both medicine and music. Take Dr. Samuel Wong – top NYC opthamologist with Harvard Med School credentials who was also Asst. Conductor at NY Phil and has an international career as a guest conductor. He’s a very good conductor!

    Given the current state of classical music, these doctor musicians, IMHO, do it the right way. It must be nice to approach classical music as a 2nd profession with no financial worries.

    • Stephen Owades says:

      Here in Boston we have the Longwood Symphony Orchestra (, made up of doctors, researchers, and others in the medical and scientific community. (The name reflects the Longwood medical area, home to Harvard Medical School and many of the region’s top hospitals.) They dedicate the proceeds of each concert to a health-related charity.

      I have sung with this group on several occasions, including a moving performance of Giya Kancheli’s “Styx” with Roger Tapping as soloist. They manage to produce remarkably skilled and intense performances, and the enthusiasm with which they approach music-making is a joy to the more jaded among us.