Caroline Kim Appointed as Principal Cellist of Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra announced today the appointment of Canadian cellist Caroline Kim—an A²SO section cellist since 2016—to the Sundelson Endowed Principal Cello Chair. Ms. Kim will make her debut as leader of the cello section in the orchestra’s opening night concert on September 13 in Hill Auditorium with pianist Emanuel Ax. Audience members will hear Ms. Kim perform the cello solo in Johannes Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Mr. Ax at the keyboard.

Caroline Kim was one of approximately 18 national and international applicants for the position of A²SO Principal Cellist, including many applicants who hold positions with orchestras across the country. The applicant pool was culled to 7 finalists for the position who were heard by a committee of A²SO musicians in a blind audition process held on September 7. This process included a preliminary round and a subsequent final round, for which four of the candidates were asked to perform in the open for A²SO Artistic Advisor and Concertmaster Aaron Berofsky and the audition committee. Mr. Berofsky then declared Ms. Kim the winner of the seat, which was vacated in June by Sarah Cleveland who had previously held the position since 1995.

An avid performing artist, Caroline Kim is a versatile performer as well as a motivating pedagogue. She recently completed her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree from University of Michigan. Over the past decade, she has given performances across the United States, Canada and South Korea, in many prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center in New York City, in addition to other cities such as Calgary, Aspen, Estes Park, Santa Barbara and Innsbrook.

After immigrating to Canada from South Korea at the age of eight, she made her national debut performance in her hometown, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 2011 playing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. Thereafter, she went to New York City to study at the Juilliard School with Richard Aaron, where she obtained both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees as a graduate of the Accelerated BM/MM program.

Throughout her studies, Caroline has received numerous scholarships and awards including the Irene Land Scholarship, the Genevieve Kniese Cahudhuri Cello Scholarship, the Betty & Daniel Bloomfield Fund Scholarship at the Juilliard School (2011-2016), and career development grants from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (2008-2018). She received full scholarship at the University of Michigan, and has been awarded fellowships to the Aspen Music Festival and Music Academy of the West.

As an orchestral musician, Caroline served as the principal cellist of the Juilliard Orchestra from 2012-2016; New York String Orchestra Seminar in 2014; Music Academy of the West in 2012; and assistant principal in the Aspen Music Festival 2013-2015. She has had the privilege of working with many prominent conductors including James Gaffigan, Nicholas McGegan, Leonard Slatkin, and Alan Gilbert, among others. She has studied chamber music with many renowned musicians such as members of the Juilliard Quartet, Emerson Quartet, Cho-Liang Lin, Sylvia Rosenberg, Joseph Kalichstein, Yoheved Kaplinsky, and Jerome Lowenthal. Ms. Kim has also played in masterclasses for legendary cellists and pedagogues including Frans Helmerson, David Finckel, Alan Stepansky, Peter Wiley, Timothy Eddy, and Lynn Harrell.

As a soloist, Caroline enjoys playing music from the broad spectrum of classical music history as well as exploring different genres of music. Her most recent project was performing transcriptions of the two Brahms Viola Sonatas, and performing in collaboration with a jazz ensemble.

From 2017-2019, Caroline served as faculty of cello in University of Michigan’s String Preparatory Academy and Center Stage Strings in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has also been invited as an artist/faculty to the Innsbrook Institute. In 2018, Caroline was invited as guest artist and judge of the Michigan American String Teacher Association’s Chamber Music Festival and Competition. She is the teaching assistant to Richard Aaron at the University of Michigan, and has given masterclasses at the Juilliard School and the University of Michigan.

More information about Caroline Kim, including videos, recordings, and events, can be found on her website at

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A²SO) is a premier regional orchestra offering live symphonic music to over 70,000 patrons of all ages in venues ranging from the historic Michigan Theater and Hill Auditorium to schools, daycares, libraries, farmers markets, and various senior citizen centers in the five-county area of Southeast Michigan. For tickets, visit, email or call 734.994.4801.