Yumi Kendall serves as Assistant Principal Cello of the Philadelphia Orchestra and founder of the Suzuki Alumni Project. She describes herself as “cellist, musical messenger and treasure hunter.”
She joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in September 2004 as assistant principal cello, immediately following graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with David Soyer and Peter Wiley. She began studying cello at the age of five following the Suzuki approach. At age 16, while studying with David Hardy, she made her solo debut with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center.
Ms. Kendall was the 2013 recipient of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s C. Hartman Kuhn Award, which is given annually to “the member of The Philadelphia Orchestra who has shown ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and the reputation of The Philadelphia Orchestra.” A proud Suzuki alumnus, she founded the Suzuki Alumni Project (www.suzukialumniproject.org) in 2016 as a way for those who grew up with the Suzuki approach to celebrate Suzuki education and express gratitude to the movement’s teachers all over the globe for believing in their students’ potential, and that of all children.
Ms. Kendall’s festival and chamber music activities include Music from Angel Fire, the Marlboro Festival, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Smithsonian’s 21st-Century Consort, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, she has served on the faculties of the National Orchestral Institute, the New York State School for Orchestral Studies, the Brevard Music Center, and the Miami Summer Music Festival.
In addition to orchestral, chamber, and solo performing and teaching, Ms. Kendall serves on the board of Astral Artists, a national organization based in Philadelphia whose mission is developing the careers of prominent young classical musicians through mentorship and performance opportunities. She was invited to serve as an assistant instructor for the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) degree program, from which she graduated in 2017. Her interest in organizational psychology and development stems from her belief in classical music’s powerful role in human flourishing, and the importance of cultivating healthy organizations as pathways to serve the arts and public community.