The James C. Byrd and Family Chair

Jessica Ryou enjoys a versatile musical career as an orchestral violinist, chamber musician, educator, and studio musician. She was appointed to the first violin section of the North Carolina Symphony in 2022.

Before her time in North Carolina, Ryou was Adjunct Professor of Violin at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and served as Assistant Concertmaster of the Symphony of the Mountains. She frequently performed at Bargemusic, New York City’s floating concert hall, where she gave the New York premiere of jazz pianist Dan Tepfer’s piano quintet, Solar Spiral, in 2021. She continues to teach at the ETSU Chamber Music Festival during the summers and performs with The Paramount Chamber Players as a regularly featured artist.

An active orchestral violinist, Ryou spent two years as a violin fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. During her fellowship, she served as concertmaster under conductors such as Stéphane Denève and Pablo Heras-Casado, and worked with living composers including John Adams and Steve Reich. Before her time in Florida, she was a member of the violin sections of the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Canton Symphony Orchestra. She has served as concertmaster for numerous orchestras and summer festivals like the Symphony of the Mountains, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and National Repertory Orchestra. Ryou was featured as a soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra for two years, performing the Dvořák Violin Concerto and the Moszkowski Suite for Two Violins.

Equally at home in the recording studio as in the concert hall, Ryou has collaborated extensively with renowned crossover cellist Dave Eggar to record remotely for film studios and record labels such as Dreamworks, Netflix, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. Their layered playing replicates the sound of a string orchestra on John Legend’s “Stardust”, Ricky Montgomery’s “Talk To You (strings)”, and Joey Bada$$’s “Written in the Stars”, as well as on the Netflix film Afterlife of the Party. Ryou has also recorded for artists such as John Legend, Lewis Capaldi, and Robert DeLeo of the Stone Temple Pilots.

Ryou received a Master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and her Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Southern California. Her primary instructors were William Preucil, Margaret Batjer, and Henry Gronnier. During her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, and backcountry camping.