Aug 17, 2023
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony are pleased to announce the appointment of two new principal musicians: Principal Flute Yubeen Kim and Principal Harp Katherine Siochi. Kim joins the Orchestra in January 2024, and Siochi joins the Orchestra in September 2023, performing on the Opening Night Gala and All San Francisco concerts on September 22 and 23.
Kim succeeds former San Francisco Symphony Principal Flute Tim Day, who retired at the end of the 2020-21 season after 14 years with the Orchestra. Siochi succeeds former Principal Harp Douglas Rioth, who retired in December 2021 after 40 years with the Orchestra.
The San Francisco Symphony received nearly 160 applications for Principal Flute and nearly 130 applications for Principal Harp. Kim and Siochi were awarded the prestigious positions following four rounds of auditions.
In early September, the San Francisco Symphony will announce additional new musicians who will be joining the Orchestra during the 2023–24 season.
Quote from Yubeen Kim, Principal Flute
“The American Dream, which was my dream, has come true! I am so glad to join the wonderful San Francisco Symphony. I’m honored to be able to make music with these great musicians and artists, and am greatly looking forward to working with Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen. I’m also looking forward to getting to know the San Francisco Symphony audiences, and I hope to see you often at Davies Symphony Hall. Please keep an eye out for me in the center of the orchestra!”
Quote from Katherine Siochi, Principal Harp
“I feel so incredibly lucky to be joining the musicians of the San Francisco Symphony. To make music with an orchestra of this caliber and with Esa-Pekka Salonen, whom I’ve admired for a long time, is a dream come true—especially in a city as unique, beautiful, diverse, and culturally vibrant as San Francisco.”
About Yubeen Kim
Yubeen Kim joins the San Francisco Symphony as Principal Flute in January 2024, holding the Caroline H. Hume Chair. He has been principal flute of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin since 2016 and has frequently played as guest principal with the Berlin Philharmonic. Mr. Kim won first prize at the 2022 ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the 2015 Prague Spring International Music Competition, and won second prize, audience prize, young audience prize, and special prize at the 2014 Concours de Genève.
As a soloist, he has performed with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Bochum Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, KBS Symphony, Korean Symphony, Bucheon Philharmonic, Daejeon Philharmonic, Chungnam Philharmonic, Cheongju Philharmonic, Lyon Conservatory Orchestra, and Ensemble of Tokyo. Festival appearances include the NIMUS Festival, Bemus Festival, Festival du Jura, Laureates Festival Concours de Genève, Prague Spring Festival, EuroArt Prague, Festival des Haudères, Concerts d’été à Saint-Germain, Tongyeong International Music Festival, and ARKO Contemporary Orchestra Music Festival.
Mr. Kim studied at the Lyon Conservatory, Paris Conservatory, and the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin. He performed on the Berlin Philharmonic’s Berlin Concert album with John Williams on Deutsche Grammophon.
About Katherine Siochi
Katherine Siochi joins the San Francisco Symphony as Principal Harp beginning in the 2023–24 season. She was previously principal harp of the Minnesota Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and Sarasota Orchestra, and has appeared as a guest with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. She was the gold medalist of the 2016 USA International Harp Competition.
As a soloist, Ms. Siochi has performed in China, Hong Kong, Israel, and at Lyon & Healy Hall in Chicago. She has served as Concert Artist for the American Harp Society, presenting solo concerts and masterclasses across the United States. Recently she also served as artist-faculty at Aspen Music Festival and School, teaching and performing with the Aspen Festival Orchestra.
Ms. Siochi earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School as a student of Nancy Allen, and also studied piano as a secondary instrument. In 2021 she released her debut album, Nocturne, on Lyon & Healy Records.
About the San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony is among the most adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the United States, celebrated for its artistic excellence, creative performance concepts, active touring, award-winning recordings, and standard-setting education programs. In the 2020–21 season, the San Francisco Symphony welcomed conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen as its 12th Music Director, embarking on a new vision for the present and future of the orchestral landscape. In their inaugural season together, Mr. Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony introduced a groundbreaking artistic leadership model anchored by eight Collaborative Partners from a variety of cultural disciplines: Nicholas Britell, Julia Bullock, Claire Chase, Bryce Dessner, Pekka Kuusisto, Nico Muhly, Carol Reiley, and esperanza spalding. This group of visionary artists, thinkers, and doers, along with Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony, have set out to explore and develop new ideas inspired by the Collaborative Partners’ unique areas of expertise, including innovative digital projects, expansive and imaginative performance concepts in a variety of concert formats, commissions of new music, and projects that foster collaboration across artistic and administrative areas. Shaped by the dynamic partnership and shared vision of Mr. Salonen, the Collaborative Partners, and the Orchestra and Chorus, the San Francisco Symphony’s 2023–24 season reflects a spirit of collaboration, experimentation, and renewed dialogue through live music.
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Yubeen Kim, Principal Flute
Katherine Siochi, Principal Harp