"Can the world take yet another brilliant young female violinist? Yes, if that violinist is Esther Yoo" wrote The Telegraph after the violinist’s performance with the Philharmonia Orchestra in March 2016. Esther Yoo first came to international attention in 2010 when, aged 16, she became the youngest prizewinner of the 10th International Sibelius Violin Competition. In 2012 the American-Korean violinist was also one of the youngest ever prizewinners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and since 2014 she has been a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.
In 2016/17, following her first BBC Proms appearance (with the BBC Philharmonic under Alpesh Chuahan), Esther debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra (Osmo Vänskä), Charlotte Symphony (Christopher Warren-Green) and Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Karina Canellakis). She performs with the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Krakow (Charles-Olivieri Munroe) and joins the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern for concerts with Shi Yeon Sung in Germany and Korea. Chamber music appearances include her US recital debut with Robert Koenig at New York’s Lincoln Center, and recitals in the UK and Spain.
Last season saw the release of her debut album by Deutsche Grammophon, of the Glazunov and Sibelius concertos recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy. She returned to the Philharmonia Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall as well as to the Kansai Philharmonic, and debuted with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (Andrew Davis), RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Alan Buribayev), Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Osmo Vänskä), KBS Symphony (Yoel Levi) and Orchestre National de Lille (Michał Nesterowicz). She was also reinvited to South America, performing with Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia and Filarmonica de Jalisco, following her successful tour with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Ashkenazy the season before.
Recent chamber music highlights include her Wigmore Hall debut in 2016 and two BBC-recorded performances with the Z.E.N. Trio, consisting of fellow New Generation Artists Narek Hakhnazaryan and Zhang Zuo. She has also performed at the Seoul International Music Festival, in Bach’s Double Concerto with Maxim Vengerov, the Ghent Festival of Flanders, Festival de Fénétrange, Festival du Château de Chambord (France) and Dvořák Prague Festival.
Born in the U.S. and raised in Europe, Esther began playing the violin at the age of 4 and made her concerto debut aged 8. In 2006, she 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 is currently a student of Ana Chumachenco in the Excellence Bachelor Programme at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich and of Augustin Dumay in 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.