Karen Smith

Karen Smith has been with the MSO since 1977. She began playing the violin at age nine, when she participated in a school music program in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1978. Karen has performed with many music ensembles in the Milwaukee area—Milwaukee … Continued

Margot Schwartz

A native of Oakland, California, violinist Margot Schwartz has appeared as soloist with the Berkeley Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Northwestern University Chamber, and Music Academy of the West Festival orchestras. As a chamber musician, in which capacity she has performed extensively on both violin and viola, she has been a winner of the Yale … Continued

Lijia Phang

Lijia Phang began her study of music at the age of four on the violin in her native Singapore. She attended high school at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains and San Bernardino National Forest, before earning both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music … Continued

Yuka Kadota

Originally from Whitestone, NY, Yuka Kadota is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor of Music and Performer Diploma in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Her major teachers were Henryk Kowalski and Franco Gulli. She completed graduate studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden. Ms. Kadota … Continued

Chi Li

Chi Li is regularly invited to perform across North America, Asia, and Europe. As such, he has performed in concerts, chamber music recitals, and as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and l’Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse at venues such as Jordan Hall in Boston, Salle Pleyel in Paris, as well as Maison Symphonique … Continued

Dylana Leung

A native of Chicago, Dylana Leung joined the MSO in 2010. Prior to holding this position, she was the assistant concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, section member of the late Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and concertmaster of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Originally a double major candidate in Engineering and Violin Performance at the University … Continued

Michael Giacobassi

Michael Giacobassi grew up in Muskegon, Michigan and began studying the violin at age nine. He received his music degree from Michigan State University where he studied with Walter Verdehr. He joined the Milwaukee Symphony in 1974 and became a member of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra in 1975. Mr. Giacobassi has appeared in recital at … Continued

Alexander Ayers

A native of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Alex Ayers has played violin with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra since 2013. He was previously a member of the Madison Symphony. After studying nine years at the String Academy of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with Darcy Drexler, Alex studied at Indiana University with Mimi Zweig and Alex Kerr. He has performed collaboratively with … Continued

Jeanyi Kim

Jeanyi Kim is the Associate Concertmaster (Third Chair) of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Concertmaster of Milwaukee Musaik (also known as the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra).  A Toronto native, Kim’s command as a violinist and orchestral musician have brought her to illustrious venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Centre, Salle Pleyel, and the … Continued

Ilana Setapen

Since her solo orchestral debut at age 15 with the Amarillo Symphony, Ilana Setapen has been flourishing as a violinist with a powerful and original voice. She is currently the associate concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the assistant concertmaster of the Grant Park Festival Orchestra in Chicago. Ms. Setapen has solo performances this … Continued