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Alex Shum, First Violin

Alex Shum grew up in Hong Kong. He earned degrees in the United States from the California Institute of the Arts and St. John's University in Minnesota. He won first prize in the Carmel Chamber Music Competition and was a Leonard Bernstein violin fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts. He has been with the Kansas City Symphony since its founding in 1982. Shum also performs with the Brookside String Quartet. To learn more, visit brooksidestrings.com

Ten questions about me:

What do you consider your greatest personal achievement?

Founding the Brookside String Quartet.

What is your favorite thing about performing music?

When I am in sync with the audience.

What is a "must-have" in your fridge?


Other than your Kansas City Symphony concerts, where else can audiences catch you performing in town?

Perhaps at a wedding venue.

Tell us about your family and your hobbies.

My lovely wife, Joanna, and I have 5 wonderful children and 2 beautiful grandkids, as of July '18. I enjoy cooking, doing origami and playing ping-pong.

What is your earliest musical memory?

Two of my earliest musical memories were watching Yehudi Menuhin playing solo Bach and Neville Marriner leading the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

Which composer would you most like to have dinner with? And what would you serve or where would you eat?

I would like to entertain papa Haydn in my home and serve him some personally grilled grass-fed ribeye.

What good book have you read recently?

Absolutely On Music by Haruki Murakami

What is the best part about being a musician in the Kansas City Symphony?

We have the warmest and most appreciative audience.

What is your Kansas City Barbecue "joint" of choice?