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Six New Appointments at the Cleveland Orchestra

The new players are in the violin, percussion, and horn sections, while existing bassist Charles Paul has been promoted


Five new players have recently been appointed as members of the Cleveland Orchestra, while a sixth has been promoted to a new position. The new appointments are spread across the horn, violin, and percussion sections, while bassist Charles Paul has been appointed first assistant principal bass, having joined the orchestra in 2022.

Youngji Kim joins the first violin section, having spent time at the Minnesota Orchestra and as a substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She holds degrees from the Yale School of Music and Seoul National University. She is joined in the first violins by Genevieve Smelser, who won concerto competitions at both the Cleveland Institute of Music and at Rice University, before serving as concertmaster of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Liyuan Xie joins the orchestra's second violin section. A native of Shanghai, he completed his undergraduate studies at the Cleveland Institute, where he is presently studying for a master's degree. Xie made his solo debut aged 11 and has appeared at a number of festivals — including at Tanglewood and Verbier.

Newly-appointed percussionist Tanner Tanyeri studied at the University of Michigan, The Juilliard School, and the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. A regular performer with the Toronto Symphony and the New World Symphony, he was named a Tanglewood Fellow in 2022.

He is joined by new assistant/utility horn Meghan Guegold Hege, who has been a substitute player with the orchestra for the last 13 years. An alumna of the Cleveland Youth Orchestra, she has also appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus. She also spent 11 years on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

"I always look for musicians who are the absolute best fit and that means having an incredibly high standard of musicality for this world-class ensemble," said Franz Welser-Möst, the Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra. "When that special person shows up, we all know they are the right person for the position."

"My life changed forever when I joined The Cleveland Orchestra," said Charles Paul. "There is nothing sweeter in life than the inspiration and excitement gained by the people you work with; each week I’ve spent with the musicians that have become my friends and family confirms that feeling.

"Bass player Scott Haigh left a legacy and tremendous shoes to fill, and I am thrilled to serve this ensemble in his chair," he added. "I continue to learn from the excellence exemplified daily at The Cleveland Orchestra. The pleasure is all mine, and with every performance I grow a bigger fan of America’s Finest Orchestra'."

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