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Stéphane Denève Appoints Four New SLSO Musicians

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

A reimagined fall 2020 season is about to begin with your St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. While the institution creatively reinvents ways to deliver exciting musical experiences in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Music Director Stéphane Denève has selected new musicians to add to the SLSO’s acclaimed roster.

Clockwise, from top left: Victoria Knudtson, Hannah Ji, Xiomara Mass, and I-Jung Huang are the newest members of the SLSO.

The first violin section adds two new members: I-Jung Huang and Hannah Ji. Xiomara Mass permanently joins the oboe section, and Victoria Knudtson was appointed to the horn section.

I-Jung, Hannah, and Xiomara began their appointments on September 1 while Victoria took her position on January 15, 2020. Learn more about these newest members of the SLSO family:

I-Jung Huang – first violin

I-Jung Huang comes to the SLSO with an impressive resumé of competition appearances and wins, as well as a long list of orchestras with whom she’s soloed, including the Houston Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Taiwan Philharmonic, and Taipei Symphony. She served as the concertmaster of prestigious music school orchestras, including the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School, and the New England Conservatory. Her recent project, “TwoBows,” a house concert fundraising project for Doctors Without Borders, received partial funding from the Juilliard Project Grants. She joins the SLSO as a member of the first violin section.

Hannah Ji – first violin 

Violinist Hannah Ji joined the first violin section of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2020 after spending two seasons as a one-year replacement musician. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and The Colburn School, Hannah’s performances have been broadcast on NPR’s nationally syndicated program From the Top and PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center. As an orchestra musician, she served as Concertmaster and Principal Second with Symphony in C, Spoleto Festival USA, YMF Debut Orchestra, The Colburn School, The Juilliard School Orchestra, and Curtis Symphony Orchestra. Since joining the SLSO, Hannah has been active in the SLSO’s Mentoring the Music: Peer to Peer program.

Victoria Knudtson – horn 

Victoria Knudtson began her duties as assistant/utility horn in January 2020 following her appointment by Stéphane Denève during his inaugural season as Music Director. Born to a pianist mother and singer father, Victoria found her artistic voice on the horn when she was 16 years old after a coincidental meeting with her first teacher, Wayne Lu. Another musician with St. Louis ties, Victoria joined the St. Louis Brass in March 2018. She was a horn fellow of the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center in 2019 and at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, with music director Valery Gergiev in 2018.  She is a graduate of Indiana University and received an artist diploma at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying under former SLSO Principal Horn Jennifer Montone.

Xiomara Mass – oboe 

St. Louis audiences will recognize Xiomara Mass, who was appointed to the second oboe position after spending two seasons as a replacement player for the SLSO in that role. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she began her musical training at the age of four and made her solo debut with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra when she was 13. Xiomara is a laureate of several international festivals and competitions, and she maintains a rigorous schedule as an educator. She is affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis and taught as an adjunct professor at the DePaul University School of Music. Most recently, she was the Audience Choice Winner of the inaugural Virtual Oboe Competition, and the only finalist representing the United States.


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