CSO Extends Erina Yashima's Residency as Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice for Third Year

Conductor Erina Yashima, CSO Sir George Solti Apprentice (photo by Todd Rosenberg).

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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and CSO music director Riccardo Muti have announced an extension for German-born conductor Erina Yashima as the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice through the 2018/19 season. Yashima was appointed to the position in 2015 for a two-year term covering the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons.

In recognition of her accomplishments over the past two seasons, Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association made the decision to extend Yashima’s term in the role. Yashima is the third Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice, a position that Muti helped to establish at the beginning of his tenure as music director. The position was created in part to recognize the CSO’s tradition of training young musicians and was previously held by Sean Kubota (2011-2013) and Matthew Aucoin (2013-2015). The International Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprenticeship is a program of the Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO.

“I have respect and appreciation for Ms. Yashima,” said Riccardo Muti. “She demonstrates great commitment to her role as our Solti Conducting Apprentice and an excellent level of artistry that she shares with our young musicians of the Civic Orchestra. I am pleased that she will continue with us for the upcoming season.”

“The role of Solti Conducting Apprentice has made a major impact in my life as a musician and as a person,” noted Yashima. “The opportunity to learn from one of the greatest conductors such as Maestro Muti and the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and to collaborate with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago over the last two years has been a significant experience that I will take with me throughout my life in music. I look forward to continuing my work in this inspiring environment and hope that I can return to the musical world what has been shared with me by these incredible musicians during my time in this role.”

During her tenure as Solti Conducting Apprentice, Yashima has spent at least 10 weeks each season studying and assisting Muti in Chicago during his residencies with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Yashima has also had a close association with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO’s training orchestra for young professional musicians. Her podium appearances with the Civic Orchestra have included a spring 2016 community “side-by-side” concert with young musicians from Schurz High School and Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma, a concert with the Civic during the 2016 Ear Taxi Festival and an April 2017 Civic Orchestra performance featuring Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at Symphony Center.

Yashima leads the Civic Orchestra in a program of works by Beethoven and Rachmaninov on Monday, April 9, at 8 p.m. at Symphony Center. Yashima, who made her podium debut with Civic last season, conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2.

As Solti Conducting Apprentice, Yashima has also led the orchestra assembled for the finals of the 2017 and 2018 Young Artists Competition and led Civic Orchestra musicians alongside young musicians from the People’s Music School, Sistema Ravinia and ChiMOP during the 2018 Youth in Music Festival. She also assisted guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen during the week leading up to the CSO’s 2017 world premiere performances of the composer’s new cello concerto written for Yo-Yo Ma.During the 2018/19 season, Yashima will continue to observe and assist Muti during his 10 weeks of residency activities with the CSO, lead the Civic Orchestra in rehearsal and performances, and will also participate in other programs of the CSO’s Negaunee Music Institute.