Now in her second year as a BBC New Generation Artist, 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.
In 2015/16, Esther returns to the Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony and Kansai Philharmonic orchestras and Orchestre National de Lille. She debuts with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, RTÉ Symphony, Iceland Symphony and KBS Symphony orchestras. Esther also revisits South America, following her successful tour with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy last season, performing with Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia and Filarmonica de Jalisco. Chamber music highlights include her Wigmore Hall debut with regular collaborator Zhang Zuo, and recitals in Oslo, Liverpool and Istanbul.
Last season, Esther performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Hallé, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra (Turkey) and Gävle Symphony Orchestra (Sweden), while past highlights include performances with the Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Tenerife Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Seoul Philharmonic orchestras. In 2014, she made her London concerto debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra under the late Lorin Maazel, following their collaboration on a 2012 tour to China and Korea. More recently, she recorded the Glazunov and Sibelius concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Ashkenazy which will be released this autumn by Universal Music.
Recent and upcoming festival appearances include the Ghent Festival of Flanders, Festival de Fénétrange, Seoul International Music Festival (featuring Bach’s Double Concerto with Maxim Vengerov), 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.