Symphony Parnassus is thrilled to welcome back one of our favorite soloists, Alina Ming Kobialka, who will perform the Brahms Violin Concerto on March 18 with the orchestra.
“Alina is simply amazing,” said Symphony Parnassus Board President Sarah Smith. “You can hear right off the bat that she is destined for a great career. We are so lucky she had time in her busy schedule to perform with us.”
A native of San Francisco, Alina looks forward to returning home from college in Chicago. “I am very excited to come back to my hometown and play with Symphony Parnassus again,” she said. “I have many fond memories from the previous times. I hope that the orchestra is as excited as I am; I have no doubt that this will be a fantastic concert.”
This is Alina’s fourth concert with Parnassus; her prior appearances were in 2010 (at age 13), 2013 and 2015, performing the Barber concerto, the Sibelius concerto and Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, respectively. Playing the Brahms this time around is an opportunity she has sought for years.
“This is one of the most collaborative violin concertos, as it involves a lot of chamber music between the soloist and the orchestra,” she said. “Brahms is also one of my favorite composers in general, and I am so excited to perform this amazing piece.”
She loves all types of music, but Romantics—like the moody and spirited Brahms—are her favorites. “I feel that I am a very emotional player, and that type of music resonates with me the most,” she said.
At just 20, Alina already has an impressive career as a soloist and her impressive list of accomplishments includes:
- Debut with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 14 for their 100th Anniversary Reunion Concert
- Touring with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra in Europe
- Second prize at the inaugural 2017 Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition as the youngest competitor
- Performing in the Shanghai International Arts Festival Gala Concert
- Attending the 2017 Marlboro Music Festival as its youngest member
- Performing with the Macau Youth Symphony Orchestra for their New Year’s Concert in 2015
- Chosen to go the Marlboro National Tour in 2019 and 2020
Alina grew up in a musical family and as a child, certainly heard a lot of the violin repertoire being played: She is the daughter of San Francisco Symphony second violinist Chun Ming Mo and retired SFS principal second violinist Daniel Kobialka.
As a young child, Alina started playing violin for fun, and her parents saw her potential and she began more intense lessons. “Even though I was not a fan of the practicing part as a kid, I grew to love my instrument and I would not give it up for anything,” she said.
She has studied violin for 16 years and attended Colburn School Academy. Her first teacher was Li Lin and she continued to study with Wei He as a part of the San Francisco Pre-College Division.
Alina now studies music at DePaul University, but will transfer in the fall to Cleveland Institute of Music in Ohio to continue studies with renowned violinist and teacher Ilya Kaler.