Pacific Symphony Welcomes Three New Musicians

“I am pleased to welcome three new musicians to the Pacific Symphony family,” said Music Director Carl St.Clair (William J. Gillespie Music Director Chair). “I look forward to working with them beginning this 2022-23 season.”

Yoomin Seo — Associate Concertmaster

Born in 1998, South Korean violinist Yoomin Seo made her debut recital at the Kumho Art Center at age 12, and her solo debut with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra at the same age.

In Aug. 2021, Seo won the concerto competition at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where she performed Prokofiev’s first violin concerto at the Benedict Music Tent. She also won the Third Prize at the 2019 Vienna Classic International Strings Competition. In 2016, she won the Second Prize at the Singapore Violin Festival Competition and was awarded First Prize at the Shinhan Music national competition. She also won top prizes in both international and national competitions such as Tchaikovsky International Competition for young musicians, EuroAsia Italy Strings International Competition, Sungjung Competition, Ewha & Kyunghyang Competition, and many others.

Seo has appeared with world-renowned orchestras as a soloist, including the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, New Korea Philharmonic Orchestra, Kazakhstan Eurasian Symphony Orchestra, Ukraine Symphony Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, and more.

She is an Artist Diploma program candidate at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she studies with Robert Lipsett and is a recipient of the Dorothy Richard Starling grant. She received her bachelor’s degree from Korea National University of Arts, where she studied with Sung Ju Lee and graduated with the president’s and highest performance awards.

In March 2022, Seo was invited to premiere James Domine’s third violin concerto with San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, she was invited to the Aspen Music Festival and School (as a violin fellowship). She attended Great Mountains Music Festival & School and was invited as a soloist at the Berlin Koreanisches Kulturzentrum, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, and Ukraine. She had masterclasses with many great musicians such as Sholomo Mintz, Ivry Gitlis, Ulf Wallin, Kyung-Wha Jung, Rachel Podger, Dong-Suk Kang, Gerard Poulet, and Donald Weilerstein.

Michael Siess — Violin I

Michael Siess, violin, is an active performer in the Los Angeles area, regularly joining ensembles such as Delirium Musicum and LA Chamber Orchestra.

He has contributed to numerous recordings, including Delirium Musicium’s upcoming debut album, The String Theory’s “Origin,” as well as numerous Hollywood studio sessions. Beginning his musical studies in Portland, OR, Siess holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and USC Thornton School of Music, studying with Margaret Batjer, William Preucil, and Itzhak Perlman. Over the summers, he enjoys playing at various festivals, including the Perlman Music Program, Aspen Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, and the Banff Centre’s Evolution: Classical.

As a soloist, he has made recent appearances with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, Portland Youth Philharmonic, and CIM Orchestra. Siess is a founding member of the classically trained, genre-bending band, Mixtape. Their original music and arrangements can be heard in numerous film soundtracks, animated shorts, music videos, electronic productions, as well as live in clubs around LA. In 2021, they were among the first class of participants at Honeywell Arts Academy’s Resonance Institute in Indiana, receiving mentorship from the band Time for Three. Mixtape’s debut visual album, “Astral Planes,” is now available online.

Gabriela Peña-Kim— Violin II

Gabriela Peña-Kim comes from a musical and diverse family, her father a native of Honduras and her mother from South Korea. She graduated from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she studied with Alexander Kerr, concertmaster of Dallas Symphony.

Photo Credit: LA Phil.

After graduating, she played two seasons with Jacksonville Symphony under Music Director Courtney Lewis and has more recently been playing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as part of the Resident Fellow program for the past two seasons under Gustavo Dudamel. Her main focus has been on orchestral playing, attending numerous music festivals, including Music Academy of the West, Pacific Music Festival (PMF), Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and Aspen Music Festival. She sat alongside Stephen Rose as Principal Second Violin at PMF and was a finalist for the concerto competition at Music Academy. She also enjoys playing chamber music as well. She was a frequent guest artist with the Lawson Ensemble, resident trio at the University of Florida in Jacksonville.

Peña-Kim often performs chamber music alongside her LA Phil colleagues and has had opportunities such as opening the Ford, the newest venue addition to the LA Phil, and performing solo Bach to open a concert featuring Essa-Pekka Salomon’s piece “Fog.” Along with being a part of the St. Augustine Music Festival for the past 10 years, she is also involved in managing the festival with her parents, the founders.

Please help us in welcoming our new musicians to the Pacific Symphony Family!