Berlin instals Korean concertmaster

Berlin instals Korean concertmaster


norman lebrecht

May 02, 2018

Jiyoon Lee, 25, last night won a unanimous vote of the violin section to be accepted as permanent concertmaster at Staatskappelle Berlin. She has been playing under probation in Barenboim’s orchestra since September.

Jiyoon plays a C. F. Landolfi, on loan from Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, Hamburg.

UPDATE: Winner of the 2016 Nielsen competition, she has a recording of the Nielsen concerto coming out next month on Orchid.


  • Gerhard says:

    Are you sure that only the violins had a vote? This would be highly unusual, particularly concerning a First Concertmaster position.

    • Max Grimm says:

      I’m quite certain the entire orchestra voted. Norman may be referring to a “separate” vote by the violin section…if the Staatskapelle Berlin does things as some other orchestras in which every member votes on new appointments, the section with the respective vacancy votes on a separate ballot, if you will, as no single section has enough votes to block or confirm a candidate on its own. This allows a better reflection of the opinion of those musicians working closest with the potential new member and can avoid the possibility of the majority of the orchestra confirming a candidate that a given section cannot work well with/does not want to work with, in effect “forcing” that person onto said section.
      One somewhat recent example of this is found in another large German orchestra, in which a candidate was on trial for a principal position of a string section. At the conclusion of the trial phase, the orchestra’s majority voted in favour of the candidate but the section in question largely voted against the candidate (due to what that section perceived to be a lack of leadership competencies), resulting in the player being denied the principal position.