Esther Yoo

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Esther Yoo
Esther Yoo
Background information
Born (1994-06-11) 11 June 1994 (age 24)
United States

Esther Yoo (born 11 June 1994) is an American violinist of Korean descent.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in the United States and raised in Europe, Esther began playing the violin at the age of 4 and made her concerto debut aged 8. She has been a student of Ana Chumachenco in the Excellence Bachelor Programme at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Augustin Dumay in the Artist Diploma Programme at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, Zakhar Bron, Leonid Kerbel and Berent Korfker.

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


Esther Yoo first came to international attention in 2010 when she became the youngest prizewinner of the 10th International Sibelius Violin Competition[1] at age 16. In 2012 she was one of the youngest ever prizewinners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition,[2] and from 2014 to 2016 she was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.[3] She was the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's first ever Artist-in-Residence,[4] and was listed as one of Classic FM’s Top 30 Artists under 30 in 2018.[5]

Esther has performed with ensembles including Orchestre National de Belgique,[6] Royal Scottish National Orchestra,[7] Vancouver Symphony Orchestra,[8] Copenhagen Philharmonic,[9] Hong Kong Philharmonic,[10] Philharmonia Orchestra,[11] Minnesota Orchestra,[12] Deutsche Radio Philharmonic, the BBC orchestras,[13] and the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Charlotte, Iceland and Gävle. In 2017/18, Esther was Artist-in-Residence with the Cambridge Corn Exchange.[14]

As a chamber musician, Esther has appeared in solo recital at Lincoln Center,[15] Wigmore Hall,[16] Oslo Opera House,[17] and Bozar[18] and, as a member of the Z.E.N. Trio (with former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists Zhang Zuo and Narek Hakhnazaryan), at Aspen Music Festival,[19] Ottawa Chamberfest[20] and in Hong Kong, Liverpool, and Cambridge.

Awards and Prizes[edit]

In 2006, Esther Yoo was given First Prize in the Junior Section of the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition and also the European Union Award for Music Art for Youth. She then went on to be the youngest prizewinner of the 10th International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in 2010[21] at the age of 16. Then in 2012 Esther was also one of the youngest ever prizewinners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition.[22] In 2014 Esther was named as a BBC New Generation Artist for 2014–16.[23]



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  21. ^ "Jean Sibelius -Viulukilpailu 2015 | laureates". Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  22. ^ "Esther Yoo". Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  23. ^ "BBC Radio 3 announces the next BBC New Generation Artists |". Retrieved 2015-09-29.
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  27. ^*/CD-Classics/On-Chesil-Beach-Original-Motion-Picture-Soundtrack/5TZJ0FL9000

External links[edit]