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Danny Yehun Jin

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hires New Members

Six new musicians have joined the orchestra, including an assistant principal second violin
and three double bassists


New members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) include Danny Yehun Jin as assistant principal second violin; Mark Almond for principal horn; bass players Ian Hallas, Alexander Horton, and Andrew Sommer; and Justin Vibbard as principal librarian. 

As announced by CSO’s music director emeritus for life Riccardo Muti, who also attended the final auditions, the six new members will begin their tenure as of the 2023/24 concert season beginning this September. 

Hailing from South Korea, Yehun Jin made his solo debut with the Seoul Royal Symphony at age nine and was a prizewinner at the 2012 Menuhin Competition Beijing. Co-leader of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and concertmaster of the Music Academy of the West Orchestra in 2023, he has also performed solo with the Seoul Philharmonic, Suwon Philharmonic, and Charleston Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of the Korean National University of Arts and the Korean National School for the Gifted in Arts, and Curtis Institute of Music, his mentors included Ida Kavafian and Erin Keefe.

In 2016, Hallas joined the Lyric Opera Orchestra, where he was appointed principal bass in 2019; he held the same role in 2022 with the Santa Fe Opera. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, plus the Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee symphonies. An award-winning fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, he studied with David Moore and Paul Ellison at Rice University and the University of Southern California. He is currently on the faculty at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music and teaches at the National Music Festival. 

Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, Horton was appointed principal bass of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in 2017. He has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Grant Park Orchestra, and received fellowships to the Aspen Music Festival, Marrowstone Music Festival, and National Music Festival. Graduate of Florida State University and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, he studied with Melanie Punter and Bruce Bransby. He has served on the faculties of Auburn University, Samford University, University of North Alabama, and Birmingham-Southern College. 

Sommer has served as principal bass for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra since 2019 and has been a substitute player for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Also performing with the chamber orchestra Taiwan Connection, he has been a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, and a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, performing with the Aspen Chamber Symphony. A Juilliard School graduate, he has studied with Albert Laszlo, Leigh Mesh, Hal Robinson, Kevin Bales, and John Patitucci. 

Previously serving as associate principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony, co-principal horn of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, and third horn of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Almond has appeared as a guest principal with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, among others. He holds degrees in medicine at England’s Cambridge and Oxford universities, and made his professional debut with the London Symphony Orchestra at age 19. Currently, he teaches horn at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, and is a visiting professor at London’s Royal Academy of Music.

Appointed in 2004 as principal librarian of the Sarasota Orchestra, Vibbard has since worked with the Mostly Mozart Music Festival, Britt Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Joffrey Ballet, Grant Park Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, National Youth Orchestra, Columbia University, and Santa Fe Opera. Between 2000 and 2003, he was the first library fellow for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under the mentorship of CSO librarians; Vibbard continued his training under Robert Sutherland at the Metropolitan Opera and Robert O’Brien of the Cleveland Orchestra. A member of the Major Orchestra Librarians Association, he also holds a bachelor’s degree in trombone performance from Union College and the University of Nebraska.

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