Kansas City Symphony Announces New Concertmaster

Acclaimed violinist Jun Iwasaki will assume the concertmaster role as of September 2022

(Image courtesy: Mimir Chamber Music Festival)


As concertmaster of the Nashville Symphony since 2011, Jun Iwasaki was selected by the Kansas City Symphony from a group of highly qualified candidates at the end of an attentive search to fill the role.

“I am both honored and excited to be named the next concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony,” said Iwasaki in the press release. “I truly look forward to getting to know both the Kansas City Symphony organization and the city itself as I take on my new role.”

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Concertmaster Academy, Iwasaki has been hailed as “the magician of the evening…He could reach into his violin and pull out bouquets of sound, then reach behind your ear and touch your soul,” wrote the Fort Worth Star Telegram

“I believe we have found a superb concertmaster in Jun, and I am convinced that he is going to be a huge contributor to the KCS’s ongoing success,” expressed KCS music director, Michael Stern. “He is a marvelous violinist, a compelling and natural musician with proven experience, and a generous colleague. 

“Above all, he will bring great leadership not only in his role on stage, but as a force for music and the arts, and for our Symphony, throughout the community…I look forward to the inspired musical road ahead,” Stern said.

“[Jun’s] extensive leadership experience will be invaluable as we innovate and advance in artistic service to Kansas City,” added executive director Danny Beckley. “[He] is the right person to help lead our ambitions and to help our efforts to expand community engagement robustly with symphonic music.”

Prior to joining the Nashville Symphony, Iwasaki served as concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony from 2007 to 2011. He has appeared with many orchestras throughout Europe and the U.S., including the Blossom Festival Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Atlanta and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras, Gulbenkian Orchestra, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. 

Additionally, he has served as concertmaster of the Asian Artists and Concerts Orchestra, plus been guest leader of the Santa Barbara Symphony, São Paulo Symphony, and National Arts Center Orchestra. His various accolades include first prize in the 2005 Japanese American Association Competition and the Coleman Chamber Music Competition.

Before his formal duties with KCS begin, Iwasaki will join them in their final subscription concerts of the season. His first official performance in his new role will be in KCS’s “Royal Gala: Let’s Have a Ball” concert on September 10, 2022.