Welcome to new members of the New York Philharmonic

Member spotlights

Volume 119, No. 10November, 2019


Alison Fierst joined the New York Philharmonic as associate principal flute in September, having previously held the position of second flute in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Fierst has been a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where she performed with the Aspen Festival Orchestra and studied with Nadine Asin, Mark Sparks and Demarre McGill. An active soloist, her honors include second place in the 2017 National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and first place in the 2017 Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia Young Artist Competition. She also won first place in the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters (NSAL) Woodwind Competition and second place in the 2018 NSAL National Woodwind Competition.

A native of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Fierst began her flute studies with Inna Leoni. She completed her bachelor’s in flute performance at Carnegie Mellon University and began earning her master’s in orchestral performance at Manhattan School of Music. Her teachers include Alberto Almarza, former New York Philharmonic Principal Flute Jeanne Baxtresser, and Philharmonic Principal Flute Robert Langevin.


Violinist Dasol Jeong joined the New York Philharmonic in January while pursuing her master of music degree in orchestral performance from the Manhattan School of Music. She began taking violin lessons at the age of four and made her debut with the Kunsan Symphony Orchestra at the age of nine, playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1.

Her awards include first prize at the Oleh Krysa International Violin Competition and third prize at the Mykola Lysenko International Music Competition and Canadian Music Competition. She performed a solo recital for CBC Radio 2’s In Concert program, and was selected as one of CBC Music’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2015. She is also the recipient of an award from the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Her principal teachers include former New York Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and Associate Principal (Second Violin Group) Lisa Kim, as well as Ida Kavafian, Pinchas Zukerman, Patinka Kopec, Oleh Krysa and Leo Wigdorchik.

Jeong holds a professional studies certificate from the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, a master of music in violin performance from Juilliard;, and a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music.


Violinist Kyung Ji Min was a semi-finalist in the Singapore International Violin Competition and won fourth prize in the Long Thibaud International Competition. She performed in recital at Salle Gaveau, appeared as soloist with the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire at Théâtre des Champs Elysées, and was invited to perform at the official residence of the president of South Korea. She studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and at Juilliard.


Ryan Roberts joined the New York Philharmonic as English horn/oboe in September. He has performed with many of the country’s leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. As an oboist, Ryan Roberts won first prize at the International Double Reed Society 2018 Norma Hooks Young Artist Competition and the National Society of Arts and Letters 2018 Woodwind Competition. Before joining the Philharmonic, he spent one season as a member of the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Roberts recently premiered Michael Torke’s “South” concerto for oboe and chamber orchestra with the Albany Symphony and recorded the work for release on Albany Records. An avid chamber musician, he performs at the Marlboro Music Festival during the summer under artistic directors Mitsuko Uchida and Jonathan Biss and has collaborated in recitals with the Pacifica Quartet and pianist Emanuel Ax.

As a Kovner Fellow graduate of Juilliard, Roberts studied with Elaine Douvas and appeared frequently as principal oboe of the Juilliard Orchestra, where he was recognized by the New York Times for his exquisite performance as the English horn soloist in Sibelius’s “The Swan of Tuonela,” led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, in 2017. Roberts has been a member of the New York String Orchestra Seminar and spent three summers as the oboe fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. In 2016 he was featured as a recital soloist aboard the Crystal Symphony cruise line, where he toured Portugal, Spain, France and England.

Roberts has also studied piano since age five and made his concerto debut at age 11. He continues to perform regularly as a collaborative pianist.


Violinist Andi Zhang joined the New York Philharmonic in January while studying at the Manhattan School of Music with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec. She has appeared as soloist with the Beijing, Qingdao, Harbin, and Hong Kong symphony orchestras, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, and Munich Radio Orchestra. She has performed in recital in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Austria, recorded for film and television, CDs, and the China Central Television program “Music Tells You,” and led master classes.

Zhang’s honors and awards include both first prize and the award for outstanding performance of a new Chinese piece at the 2016 Alice & Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition, second place in the 2010 Stradivarius International Violin Competition; first place in the 2009 National Chinese Violin Competition (the youngest prize winner that year) and third place in the youth group of the 2006 Wenhua National Violin Competition. In addition, she was among the young artists selected to receive support from the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China.

Born in Dandong, China, Zhang began violin at the age of four. She studied with Lin Yaoji. In 2005 she was admitted to the middle school of the China Central Conservatory of Music and, that same year, performed as soloist to critical acclaim with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra alongside the young violinist Liu Siqing. She pursued her bachelor’s degree from the China Central Conservatory of Music and earned her master of music degree from Juilliard, where she studied with Joel Smirnoff. She has played in master classes for Shlomo Mintz, Midori, Zakhar Bron, and Leonidas Kavakos.