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Yumi Hwang-Williams

Yumi Hwang-Williams

Concertmaster, Mary Rossick Kern and Jerome H. Kern Concertmaster Chair​

  • Graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music
  • Debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Performed Korean composer Isang Yun’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Basel Symphony Orchestra, Switzerland

“By far the meatiest and most complex opus was by the highly inventive Englishman Thomas Adès via his 19-minute violin concerto entitled Concentric Paths… full of explosive and dissonant music-making… She (Hwang Williams) had the virtuosity to play through all the musical brambles, emerging unscathed”.

– San Jose Mercury News (Cabrillo Festival, 2007)

Yumi Hwang-Williams, Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony since 2000, is an American violinist of exceptional musicianship who is recognized both for her stylish performances of the classics and her commitment to the works of present-day composers. 

Strings magazine calls her “a modern Prometheus” who has “emerged as a fiery champion of contemporary classical music.” Her interpretations of concertos by Thomas Adès, Aaron Jay Kernis, Michael Daugherty, and Christopher Rouse have earned critical acclaim as well as enthusiastic approval from the composers. She has collaborated with the Joffrey Ballet (Chicago) in a world premiere of Bold Moves, with ten performances of Adès’ Concentric Paths for violin and orchestra choreographed by Ashley Page. The Colorado Symphony presented the world premiere of Rising Phoenix, violin concerto written for Yumi by Daniel Kellogg in 2016. In 2018, PENTATONE label released 2 disc centennial celebration of Isang Yun’s music with Yumi, Dennis Russel Davies, and The Bruckner Orchestra Linz (Austria) of the Violin Concerto No. 1, solo piece, and work with piano — a culmination of a decade-long project of Korea’s most controversial composer.

Yumi is frequently heard as soloist in her capacity as Concertmaster with the Colorado Symphony and occasionally has stepped in as last minute replacement, with Sibelius Concerto in 2017, and recently with Bach Double Violin Concerto featuring Chris Thile on mandolin. She has appeared with other major orchestras both in the U.S. and abroad, including the London Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Sinfonieorchester Basel (Switzerland), and the Bruckner Orchester Linz (Austria), Brno Philharmonic (Czech Republic) with conductors Marin Alsop, Dennis Russell Davies, Hans Graf, Paavo Järvi, Peter Oundjian, Markus Stenz, among others.

Colorado Symphony Spotlight

Meet Concertmaster Yumi Hwang‑Williams as she celebrates over 20 years with the Colorado Symphony.

Prior to joining the Colorado Symphony, Yumi served as Principal Second Violin for the Cincinnati Symphony. In addition, she previously served as Concertmaster of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra for 13 summers, has performed as Guest Concertmaster for the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa, at the invitation of Music Director Pinchas Zukerman and has been Guest Concertmaster withThe Singapore Symphony Orchestra. She continues to play Guest First Violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, with whom she has a long standing association.

Yumi began violin studies at the age of 10 in Philadelphia at the Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), a public music magnet school, one year after emigrating from South Korea. She was a soloist with Philadelphia Orchestra at age 13 and was accepted to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music at age 15, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree. Currently, she is Adjunct Violin Professor at the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music, and is actively involved in advancing the arts in the community through numerous local concerts, chamber music collaborations, and supporting the symphony. In 2021 during the heart of the COVID lockdown, Yumi and Michelle DeYoung, world class singer, co-founded ENSEMBLE CHARITÉ which donates all proceeds from concerts to the partnering charity organization.

Yumi performs on a violin made by G. B. Guadagnini in Piacenza, Italy circa 1748.