Esther Yoo


"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.


With “a prodigious clarity of diction” (Scherzo) and “a moving tendresse” (BBC Music Magazine), Esther Yoo has been described as “the model of a violin soloist in the modern age.” (The Strad). In 2010, she became the youngest prizewinner of the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition and of the Queen Elisabeth Competition two years later. In 2014 she became a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and in 2018 was selected as one of Classic FM’s Top 30 Artists under 30. In 2020, she was named one of WQXR’s ‘20 For 20’ artists to watch.

In the 2023/24 season, Esther debuts with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Orquestra Sinfónica RTVE, as well as joining BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Davis for the world premiere of Raymond Yiu’s Violin Concerto, touring with Philharmonia Orchestra and returning to iconic venues such as Wigmore Hall and Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

Esther has worked with a wide range of leading conductors, including Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vasily Petrenko, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Dalia Stasevska, Myung-Whun Chung, Thierry Fischer, and Karina Canellakis. Previous seasons have seen Esther perform across the world, appearing with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, as well as at Lincoln Center, Royal Albert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall and Seoul Arts Center and prominent festivals such as the BBC Proms and Aspen Music Festival. In 2018, Yoo was appointed as Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s inaugural Artist in Residence.

As a chamber musician, Esther regularly appears both in recital and as a member of Z.E.N. Trio alongside former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists Zhang Zuo and Narek Hakhnazaryan, with whom she has toured across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and released two albums on Deutsche Grammophon.

A prolific recording artist, Esther has released several albums on Deutsche Grammophon, most recently releasing Barber, Bruch – featuring the respective composers’ violin concertos – to critical acclaim and previously having recorded the violin concertos of Sibelius, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky. She also features prominently on the soundtrack of the feature film On Chesil Beach, as well as a guest artist on pianist Chad Lawson’s album breathe, both released on Decca Records.

Demonstrating those skills, she curated a two-hour programme for BBC Radio 3, is a frequent contributor to BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, The Arts Desk, and The Strad, writing not only about repertoire and practice techniques, but wider issues, such as mental health and well-being.

Gallery / Esther Yoo

by Je Won Kim by Je Won Kim by Je Won Kim