Matthew Young

Member since 2012

Hometown: Herndon, KY

Began playing music: At age five (piano); stringed instruments at age eleven

Schools: University of Kentucky, Yale, Cleveland Institute of Music

Early musical influences: I grew up in rural Kentucky on a sixth-generation family farm. As a teen, I tried my hand at J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg concertos and other music by Baroque and Classical composers for our family ensemble, which included violin, viola, guitar, mandolin, piano, and sometimes cello, among other instruments.

Favorite composers: My answer to this changes frequently as I interact directly with pieces both new and familiar to me. Right now, I’m into Schoenberg and Webern’s early works: It’s probably not a coincidence that some of these compositions have juicy viola parts! I’m also hoping Thomas Adès composes a viola concerto soon.

Favorite part of being in the San Francisco Symphony: I am the newest member of the SFS viola section, and I have come to realize more how we benefit from the innovation and the culture building that continues to happen here. I feel at the same time quite at home and also fortunate to have joined such a world class and trend setting symphonic organization.

Activities/Interests: I've just run my first Bay to Breakers race, as Miyazaki’s Totoro. That was a fun experience which I shared with some fellow musicians. I also enjoy cooking, hiking, and exploring this amazing town and its many colorful neighborhoods.

Favorite movies: Hitchcock, film noir, and pretty much anything from Pixar.

Other musical activities: I enjoy playing chamber music and am a member of Ensemble San Francisco. I was also a founding member of the Verklärte Quartet, which won grand prize in the 2003 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.