Kansas City Symphony Announces New Concertmaster

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(Courtesy of Mimir Chamber Music Festival)

As concertmaster of Nashville Symphony since 2011, June Iwasaki was selected by the Kansas City Symphony of a group of highly qualified candidates following a careful search to fill the position.

“I am both honored and thrilled to be named the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra’s next concertmaster,” said Iwasaki. in the press release. “I really look forward to getting to know both the Kansas City Symphony organization and the city itself as I take on my new role.”

Graduated from Cleveland Institute of Musicit is Solo Violin AcademyIwasaki was hailed as “the magician of the evening…He could reach up to his violin and draw bouquets of sound from it, then reach behind your ear and touch your soul,” wrote the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

“I believe we found a superb concertmaster in June, and I’m confident he’s going to be a huge contributor to the continued success of KCS,” said KCS Music Director, Michael Stern. “He is a wonderful violinist, a convincing and natural musician with a proven track record and a generous colleague.

“Most importantly, he will bring great leadership not just in his role on stage, but as a force for music and the arts, and for our symphony, throughout the community…I look forward to the inspired musical journey that awaits us,” Stern said.

“[Jun’s] broad leadership experience will be invaluable as we innovate and grow in arts service in Kansas City,” the executive director added. Danny Beckley. “[He] is the right person to help us drive our ambitions and support our efforts to expand community engagement in robust ways with symphonic music.

Prior to joining the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Iwasaki was concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony from 2007 to 2011. He has performed with numerous orchestras across Europe and the United States, including the Blossom Festival Orchestra, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Atlanta and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, the Gulbenkian Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra.

In addition, he was first violin of the Artists and Concerts Orchestra of Asia, as well as guest conductor of the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Center. His various distinctions include the first prize in the 2005 edition Japanese American Association Competition and the Coleman Chamber Music Competition.

Prior to the start of his official duties with KCS, Iwasaki will join them in their final subscription concerts of the season. Her first official performance in her new role will be at KCS’ “Royal Gala: Let’s Have a Ball” concert on September 10, 2022.

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