I’m very much looking forward to having Tony Yun make his subscription debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra February 2 and 3. Tony made his debut with us as a finalist in [and eventual winner of] the China International Music Competition, which I conducted and the Orchestra played on our last tour to China back in 2019. At that time, Tony was only 17 years old, and he blew us all away by his talent, imagination, creativity, sound, virtuosity, maturity, and his ears—because we could tell, especially for someone at such a young age, that he was listening to the Orchestra and really engaging as a chamber musician with everyone. He also has a lot of charisma and is really fun to be around.
After the Competition, Tony and I kept in touch. It doesn’t happen very often, but I decided to be a mentor to him because I felt he was really special. We started working with his teachers at Juilliard Pre-College and his mother would bring him to Philadelphia or we’d meet in New York, and I started giving him lessons and coachings on various pieces from the repertoire, both solo works and concertos. I invited him to play with the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal during the pandemic. He played the Clara Wieck-Schumann Piano Concerto, and now in Philadelphia he’s going to play her husband Robert’s Concerto. Every piece of music he touches is really fantastic. I’m sure he’s going to bring a fresh take on that wonderful Concerto and it will be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Photo: Todd Rosenberg