2019-20 BSO First Violins

Tamara Smirnova

First Associate Concertmaster, Boston Symphony Orchestra; Concertmaster, Boston Pops Orchestra

BSO: Helen Horner McIntyre chair, endowed in perpetuity; BPO: Beranek chair, endowed in perpetuity

Born in 1958 in Siberia, Tamara Smirnova is first associate concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and concertmaster of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Ms. Smirnova started playing the violin at the age of six and graduated in 1981 from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where she studied with Eugenia Chugaeva.

Alexander Velinzon

Associate Concertmaster

BSO: Robert L. Beal, Enid L., and Bruce A. Beal chair, endowed in perpetuity; BPO: Edward and Bertha C. Rose chair, endowed in perpetuity

A native of St. Petersburg, violinist Alexander Velinzon joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in January 2000, became assistant concertmaster in 2005, and was promoted to associate concertmaster in 2015.

Elita Kang

Assistant Concertmaster

BSO: Edward and Bertha C. Rose chair, endowed in perpetuity

Elita Kang joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 1997 and was appointed assistant concertmaster in February 2001, occupying the Edward and Bertha C. Rose Chair. She is also assistant concertmaster of the Boston Pops Orchestra, occupying the Eunice and Julian Cohen Chair.

Yuncong Zhang

Violinist Yuncong Zhang joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in January 2010. Founding violinist of the Echoi Contemporary Ensemble and member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, she studied with Glenn Dicterow and Lisa Kim at the Manhattan School of Music. Born in China, Ms. Zhang came to the United States in 2003 and was immediately recognized as a vigorous and gifted performer.

Lucia Lin

BSO: Dorothy Q. and David B. Arnold, Jr., chair, endowed in perpetuity

Lucia Lin made her debut performing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the age of 11. Since then, she has been a prizewinner of numerous competitions, including the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

Ikuko Mizuno

BSO: Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro chair, endowed in perpetuity

Ikuko Mizuno began her violin training at age five, entering the Toho‑Gakuen School of Music in her native Tokyo and going on to win First Prize in a national violin competition for high school students.

Bo Youp Hwang

BSO: John and Dorothy Wilson chair, endowed in perpetuity; BPO: Eunice and Julian Cohen chair, endowed in perpetuity

Born in Korea, Bo Youp Hwang gave his first violin solo performance with orchestra when he was twelve. He went on to study at the School of Music and Fine Arts and the University of Seoul.

Jennie Shames

BSO: Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser chair

A multi-faceted musician, Jennie Shames was invited to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra the season after her magna cum laude graduation from Harvard University in 1979.

Valeria Vilker Kuchment

BSO: Kristin and Roger Servison chair

Valeria Vilker Kuchment received her graduate and postgraduate degrees from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where she was a student of Yuri Yankelevich; upon finishing her studies, she became a faculty member at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory College.

Tatiana Dimitriades

BSO: Donald C. and Ruth Brooks Heath chair, endowed in perpetuity

Born and raised in New York, Tatiana Dimitriades attended the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as an artist diploma, from the Indiana University School of Music, where she was awarded the performer’s certificate in recognition of outstanding musical performance.

Si-Jing Huang

BSO: Ronald G. and Ronni J. Casty chair

Si-Jing Huang joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of the 1989-90 season, having graduated from the Juilliard School in New York in May 1989.

Wendy Putnam

BSO: Robert Bradford Newman chair, endowed in perpetuity

Wendy Putnam was born in Wisconsin and began her study of the violin at the age of three. She made her first appearance in the concert hall at nine when she was invited to perform as a soloist with the Green Bay Symphony.

Xin Ding

A native of China, violinist Xin Ding joined the Boston Symphony in January 1999, having already had an accomplished music career. She served as concertmaster for both the China Youth Symphony Orchestra and the China Chamber Orchestra, and performed in New England’s major orchestras.

Glen Cherry

Violinist Glen Cherry grew up in a musical family in South Dakota.

Lisa Ji Eun Kim

San Diego native Lisa Ji Eun Kim joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra violin section at the start of the 2017-18 subscription season. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Hyo Kang and David Chan.