First Violins


Youngji Kim

Korean violinist Youngji Kim joined the violin section of The Cleveland Orchestra in August 2023. She was previously second violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra and a substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Kim graduated with a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music under Ani Kavafian and Syoko Aki and a bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University under Ju-Young Baek, Hyun a Kim, and Hyuk-Joo Kwun.

Kim’s musical awards include winning the KBS KEPCO and Segye Ilbo competitions, second prize at the Joongang Music Competition, and third prize at the Hong Kong Generation Next Arts International Music Competition. She was also selected as a Gyeonggi Young Artist and Kumho Young Artist in Korea, where she made her solo debut.

Kim has performed with many leading Korean orchestras including the Korean Symphony Orchestra, Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Seoul National University Symphony Orchestra, and Busan Philharmonic Orchestra. She also played a quintet concert during the Spirit of SNU Strings Chamber Concert Series at Seoul Arts Center and solo recitals at Kukje Art Hall and Youngsan Art Hall, two renowned concert halls in Seoul.

Kim was selected as one of three finalists for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Play with Ray competition, performing alongside the Philharmonic as a guest member and receiving a masterclass from violinist Ray Chen. She has also participated in masterclasses with Pinchas Zukerman, Daniel Austrich, Christoph Poppen, and Hye-Jin Kim. Kim served as principal violinist with the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra and the Yale Philharmonia, and as concertmaster of the Seoul National University Symphony Orchestra. She has also attended several music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Summit Music Festival, and Pablo Casals Festival.