…she performed Mendelssohn’s violin concerto with tight dexterity and balanced grace and a tone which was lean yet strong, deliberate yet gentle. Her cadenzas sparkled, with seriously impressive ornamentation and silkily subtle double-stopping, though it was her dialogue with the orchestra which really showcased her command of the music. The Herald
Esther Yoo, the first ever Artist-in-Residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2018) is acclaimed for her “dark, aristocratic tone” (Gramophone Magazine) and “balanced grace” (The Herald). Recently listed as one of Classic FM’s Top 30 Artists under 30, Yoo first came to international attention in 2010 when she became the youngest prizewinner of the 10th International Sibelius Violin Competition at aged 16. In 2012 she was one of the youngest ever prizewinners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and from 2014 to 2016 she was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.
The 2018/19 season sees Esther debut with Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel, the Florida Orchestra/Michael Francis and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Louis Langree. As a regular collaborator, she will tour with the Philharmonia Orchestra twice in the season – to Korea and China with Esa-Pekka Salonen, and to Spain and the UK with Vladimir Ashkenazy. In Europe, Esther returns to Orchestra National de Belgique and Orchestra National de Lille, and debuts with Oulu Symphony, Orquesta Camera Musicae and Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa.
Highlights from the 2017/18 season include debuts with Orchestre National de Belgique, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Copenhagen Philharmonic, plus return performances with Hong Kong Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Philharmonia. In 2017/18, Esther was Artist-in-Residence with the Cambridge Corn Exchange.
As a chamber musician, Esther has appeared in solo recital at Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Oslo Opera House, and Bozar 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, Ottawa Chamberfest and in Hong Kong, Liverpool, and Cambridge.
In spring 2017 Deutsche Grammophon released her second album with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy – Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and other works– following her 2015 debut album of the Glazunov and Sibelius concertos. In autumn 2017 the Z.E.N. Trio released their debut album on the same label, featuring Brahms and Dvořák Piano Trios. In 2018, Esther featured on the soundtrack and accompanying album (released by Decca) of internationally released film On Chesil Beach.
And the virtuoso fireworks of the finale, which can trip up even the best violinists, caused her no trouble. It was altogether a wonderful performance which thrilled the audience, aware they were witnessing a star in the making. Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph