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Musician Spotlights - Sofie Yang, Violin

Musician Spotlights - Sofie Yang, Violin
By Musician Spotlights • Issue #27 • View online
Up next, our very own Associate Concertmaster, Sofie!

Question 1: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and have never experienced a winter without snow - check back in a few months to find out if I miss it! I earned my Bachelor’s in violin performance at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin with Dr. Samantha George and my Master’s at DePaul University in Chicago with Janet Sung while playing in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. I was freelancing in Michigan until moving with my boyfriend of six years to Eugene as he began his DMA in piano performance at the University of Oregon this fall and I started at RVS. 
Question 2: What brought or inspired you to pursue violin? If you’d like to share one of your favorite pieces of music as well, I’d like to know!
I chose the violin after a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra petting zoo, and symphonic works remain one of my favorites still (see picture attached - that’s where I got hooked!). I’m constantly inspired by how so many people playing different instruments come together and make music on a huge scale. To me, playing a string instrument is akin to painting or crafting with your hands - sensationally tactile and kinesthetically pleasing. 
Question 3: What do you enjoy most about being with the Rogue Valley Symphony?
The community of musicians, staff, and audience! I’ve been so touched by everyone I’ve met, a genuinely warmhearted and deeply invested society. It means so much to make music with and for people, especially during the pandemic. I love getting to see more of the Rogue Valley area with each visit. 
Question 4: What do you do when you’re not playing music i.e. what are your hobbies or interests?
I enjoy cooking, running (slowly), sending and receiving mail, and exploring nature. I’m trying to learn Spanish, Chinese, and piano. My new pandemic hobby, for better or worse, has been playing Pokemon Go. Another game I like to play is listening to the classical radio station, guessing what’s on, and finding out more! 
Question 5: Finally, one unusual fact, story, or tidbit about you or your instrument?  
My violin was made in 2009 by Scott Sleider, a luthier in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. My teacher at the time, Eriks Klavins, helped pick out the wood and decide on other details, and I got to witness the entire creation process. My bow was Mr. Klavins’, and while he passed away later that year, I feel the spirit of music-making continuing on as I play. I’m honored to have an instrument from a living, local luthier, and as I grow as a musician, I feel my violin developing along with me. 
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Musician Spotlights

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