skip to Main Content
The Dr. Shirley Linzy Young Artists Orchestra of Las Vegas - Yunior Lopez, Founder & Music Director
Yuri Cho, violin

A versatile violinist, Ms. Yuri Cho gave her first performance at age 10 at the winner’s concert of Korean Newspaper Music Competition in Seoul. Since entering the Menuhin School, she had the rare honor to perform the Brahms sextet with Lord Menuhin in Buckingham Palace at age 15 and was selected as a soloist and a Concertmaster of the Yehudi Menuhin Orchestra in the 1993 Europe tour with Lord Menuhin conducting.

Since then, her engagements have taken her throughout England, Europe, and Korea with orchestras such as the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Beethoven Society Orchestra, the Redhill Symphony Orchestra, the Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Menuhin School Orchestra. As a recitalist, she was presented in Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Hall, Barbican Center, and in cathedrals, and churches throughout Europe and England. In 2000, Cho was selected and presented by the Eastman School of Music to play a New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall sponsored by the Messenger foundation.

Cho has been the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors. They include: first prize of the Han-Kook Violin Competition, sponsored by the Korea Times Newspaper, Ewha & Kyunghyang Concour, Surrey Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Yong Performing Artist Series’ Recital in Seoul Korea, the Young San Art Hall Recital Series sponsored by The Music Critics Association of Korea, the winner of the Louis Peskai Competition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, winner of the Redhill Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and winner of the prestigious Eastman School of Music Performer’s Certificate, to win in the same year the Eastman Concerto Competition performing Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto with the Eastman Symphony Orchestra.

Cho began her musical education at the Yehudi Menuhin School. She also earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and a Master of Music degree from Eastman School of Music. She has completed all of her coursework for Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, where she was also a teaching assistant of Zvi Zeitlin, Distinguished Professor of Violin. From 2010–2011, she was a lecturer at the Myung Ji University and Kook Min University in Seoul, Korea.

Susan Kim, violin

Korean-American violinist and pedagogue, Susan J. Kim, studied with Sally Thomas and Joel Smirnoff at The Juilliard School, where she earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in violin performance. During her studies at The Juilliard School, Dr. Kim won the concerto competition and performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Symphony. She was also the recipient of the Charles Petschek Award and the Michael Cohen Scholarship, given to exceptional students based on their musical performances.

Dr. Kim has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral member across the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, and South Korea. She has worked with distinguished artists such as Joseph Gingold, Charles Castleman, Roland Vamos, Stephanie Chase, Mitchell Stern, Steven Doane, Charles Reiner, and Gibert Kalish, as well as members of the Vermeer and Juilliard string quartets.

In pursuit of becoming a music educator, Dr. Kim received a Doctorate of Education from Teachers College of Columbia University. Since then, Dr. Kim has published articles in the American String Teachers Journal and the String Research Journal, and has presented her research at the American String Teachers Association national conference.

Before joining the faculty at Gordon College as Assistant Professor of Music in 2010, Dr. Kim was a member of the violin faculty of the Preparatory Division at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. A renowned pedagogue, Dr. Kim’s students have won numerous awards and prizes in international competitions and have been accepted to top music institutions. She also serves on the faculty of the summer Blue Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Yunior Lopez, viola

Recognized as one of the most versatile musicians of his generation, Cuban-born violist Yunior Lopez enjoys a unique career as a chamber player, conductor, and entrepreneur. A recipient of many awards and prizes, Mr. Lopez appears regularly throughout North America collaborating with esteemed artists as both conductor and violist.

As an emerging young conductor, Yunior Lopez is motivated by the power of music and its endless possibilities. At the age of 20 and upon the recommendation of Maestros Uri Mayer and Mario Bernardi, Mr. Lopez was appointed Conductor of the Academy Symphony Orchestra at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. Since then he has been invited to conduct orchestral productions throughout North America, including the 2013 Royal Occasion with the 2Cellos, pop concerts with members of the Toronto Symphony and Canadian Opera Company, and the Havana Soloists Orchestra. Moreover, he’s collaborated with artists like Barry Shiffman, Stanislav Pronin, Andres Diaz, Stephan Moccio, and Steven Dann, to name a few. In September 2015, Mr. Lopez founded the Las Vegas Young Artists Orchestra, where he currently serves as Executive & Music Director. The impact of his leadership and innovative programming has become evident with the success of the Young Artists Orchestra. As the one of the few tuition-free and professional training youth orchestras in the United States, the Las Vegas Young Artists Orchestra presents over 15 concerts and events per season, and has become a model for its high quality music education, collaborative programming, and community engagement. Mr. Lopez is currently working on a symphonic album of forgotten and suppressed works by Cuban composers.

A devoted chamber musician, Mr. Lopez founded The Annex Quartet in September 2008. Under his leadership the group has appeared in hundreds of concerts, including acclaimed performances at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Recital Halls, the Stratford Summer Music Festival, and Luminato, to name a few. Moreover, he serves as Artistic Director responsible for overseeing future collaborations, projects, and events. In 2015, Mr. Lopez led the quartets collaboration on Jane Bunnett’s Maqueque album, ultimately winning the 2015 JUNO Award for Jazz Record of the Year, in addition to creating the Roaring Twenties Project- a breakthrough album with singer Sarah Jane Pelzer and producer Roberto Occhipinti. A highly sought after chamber musician, Mr. Lopez has worked and performed with a diverse range of artists such as Jan Lisiecki, Mikel Rouse, Phil Dwyer, the Hilario Durán Trio, the Kronos Quartet, the Gryphon Trio, David Virelles, and members of the Fine Arts and St. Lawrence Quartets. Recent appearances include Music Toronto Chamber Series, Stratford Summer Music, Canzona Chamber Players, and the Elora International Music Festival, in addition to performances and recordings with members of the Array New Music Ensemble and the Talea Ensemble. Current recordings scheduled for release include the Folktales album with singer Joanna Chapman-Smith, David Virelles Gnosis, and Classically Latin featuring Spanish works by Lara, Still, Golijov, and Piazzolla, to name a few.

Born into a family of chemists, doctors, and lawyers, Mr. Lopez became interested in music through his exposure to various styles and genres native to the island. Furthermore, his aunt, Anais Abreu, is one of Cuba’s foremost singers and one of the world’s leading figures of bolero. Following his family’s defection from Cuba, Mr. Lopez settled in Las Vegas where he won a contract with the Las Vegas Philharmonic at the age of 17. Simultaneously, he spent summers studying with David Holland at the Interlochen Arts Camp and with members of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center’s Summer Music Institute. Throughout his youth he performed as principal violist with various orchestras including Lukas Foss’s National Festival Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony, the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, and the Kennedy Center’s National Institute Orchestra.

Mr. Lopez studied viola with Steven Dann, Susan Barton, and David Holland. Other influences include conductors Uri Mayer and Mario Bernardi, and members of the Kronos, Tokyo, Orford, and St. Lawrence String Quartets. When not performing Yunior enjoys speed skating, traveling, watching professional boxing, and Texas- Hold’em Poker. A young entrepreneur, he founded the Don Lopez Cigar Company in Miami, FL, and currently serves as CEO of the Lord of the Cigars Corporation. Recently, Mr. Lopez led the partnership between Lamborghini Latinoamerica and Lord of the Cigars to create and distribute an exclusive line of cigars that represent the iconic car brand. Mr. Lopez currently resides in Las Vegas, NV and conducts using the batons of his late friend and mentor, Mario Bernardi.

Andy Smith, cello

Cellist Andrew Smith is an Associate Professor of music at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Principal Cellist of The Las Vegas Philharmonic. He is an original member of the Camerata Deiá, a group founded in 2001 to be the resident ensemble with The Festival Internacional de Deiá, a summer festival in Majorca, Spain. He was also a founding member of The Adriatic Chamber Music Festival, a summer music program in southern Italy, where he taught and performed from 1998 – 2008. An active recitalist, Andrew has collaborated with pianist Alfredo Oyagüez in cello/piano recitals in Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Argentina, and Japan, as well as in Kosovo, Serbia, and Macedonia. Recent recitals include performances at the Emilia Romagna Festival, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Smith/Oyagüez duo recently released a CD entitled, “Spanish Music for Cello and Piano,” on the Delos label in January, 2017. Of the CD, the American Record Guide said the duo plays “with verve and sensitivity,” and recommended the program “without reserve.”

During summers, in addition to The Festival Internacional de Deiá, in Spain, and The Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Italy, Smith has taught and performed in several music festivals, including the Marrowstone Music Festival, Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, CA, the Rocky Ridge Music Center, the Blue Mountain Festival, Dakota Chamber Music, The Green Valley Chamber Music Festival, the Tuacahn Summer Arts Institute, and The Las Vegas Music Festival.

Mr. Smith is a recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a member of the Young Artists String Quartet. He has also earned a Master’s degree from The Mannes College of Music in New York, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt College of Music in Hartford, CT. He has studied cello with Timothy Eddy, Bernard Greenhouse, Leslie Parnas, Ron Leonard, and Geoffrey Rutkowski.

Brycen Ingersoll, bass

Las Vegas native, Brycen Ingersoll, is quickly becoming a rising star in the double bass world. At the age of 16, Mr. Ingersoll made his solo debut with the Las Vegas Philharmonic performing Sarsate’s Zigeunerweisen. As an orchestral player, he has performed as a substitute with some of the top American orchestras including the Nashville Symphony, Sewanee Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Firelands Symphony, and the Akron Symphony Orchestra. A versatile artist, Mr. Ingersoll is equally fluent in a diverse range of genres and styles. During his time in Nashville he recorded with The Nashville String Machine, Chris Botti, David Foster, James Hannigan, and Jason Graves in many studios within the famous Music Row. Mr. Ingersoll received his Bachelors of Music from Vanderbilt University studying with Joel Reist and Edgar Meyer. He later received his Professional Studies Diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying under Scott Dixon. He has additionally studied with Bruce Bransby, Eugene Levinson, and Jeremy Kurtz. He is currently the classical bass instructor for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.