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Esther Yoo


Photo: Je Won Kim

Esther Yoo first came to international attention in 2010 when she became the youngest prizewinner of the 10th International Sibelius Violin Competition (aged 16), and from 2014 to 2016 she was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, culminating in her BBC Proms debut.

The 2017/18 season will see Esther debut with Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestra Teatro San Carlo, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Vancouver, Bay Atlantic, and Hawaii, in addition to a return performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

As this season’s Artist-in-Residence with the Cambridge Corn Exchange, Esther will perform alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (as a double residency performance) and in recital with the Z.E.N. Trio. The Z.E.N. Trio, consisting of Zhang Zuo, Esther Yoo and Narek Hakhnazaryan (all former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists) will tour the UK and Asia, supporting the international release of their debut album – of Brahms and Dvořák Piano Trios. Other chamber highlights this season include, a recital performance at LSO St. Luke’s as part of the festival week celebrating Simon Rattle’s first season as the London Symphony Orchestra Music Director.

Last season, Esther debuted with Minnesota Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra, made her US recital debut in Lincoln Center, and debuted at Granada Festival with Pablo Heras-Casado and the Philharmonia Orchestra. In spring 2017 Deutsche Grammophon released her second album – of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and other works with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy – following her 2015 debut on the label, featuring the Glazunov and Sibelius concertos. Alongside recital partner Robert Koenig, Esther performed a recital tour covering Oslo, Birmingham, Madrid, Brussels, Seoul, New York and Miami.

In previous seasons Esther has performed with the BBC orchestras, Deutsche Radio Philharmonic, Gävle, KBS, RTÈ and Iceland symphony orchestras, and the philharmonic orchestras of Seoul, Warsaw and Kansai. She has worked with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Davis, Karina Canellakis, Jaime Martin, Michał Nesterowicz, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Osmo Vänskä and Christopher Warren-Green. Festival appearances include Seoul International Music Festival, Ghent Festival of Flanders, Festival de Fénétrange, Festival du Château de Chambord and Dvořák Prague Festival. Chamber music highlights include her Wigmore Hall debut in 2016 and two BBC-recorded performances with the Z.E.N. Trio.

Born in the U.S. and raised in Europe since the age of 6, Esther began playing the violin at the age of 4 and made her concerto debut aged 8. In 2012 she was one of the youngest ever prizewinners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. She is currently a student of Ana Chumachenco in the Excellence Bachelor Programme at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, and continues to receive mentorship from Augustin Dumay after completing the Artist Diploma Programme at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels. Prior to this, she worked with Zakhar Bron, Leonid Kerbel and Berent Korfker.

Esther plays the 1704 “Prince Obolensky” Stradivarius, generously lent to her by a private collector.

Last update in May 2023