“Where she came into her own was the solo third movement, a decorated transcription of an anonymous solo for erhu which draws deep on violinistic reserves of romantic expression, presenting an alluring showcase for any top-class violinist.”

-The Strad, May 2024Read more

“From the start, Esther Yoo was able to present both delicacy of tone and a cutting edge.”

-Bachtrack, March 2024Read more

“Composed especially for Esther Yoo, she needs no introduction: Yoo is one of the greatest soloists in the world today, and handles Yiu’s virtuosic (and often schizophrenic) score like it’s her own thoughts. A complete oneness of performer and material, which is very special to see.”

-The Prickle, March 2024Read more

“Beginning unobtrusively with the quietest of trills gifted Yoo rarely had time off, and carried the soulful slow movement, elaborated from authentic Chinese material, all by herself.”

-The Times, March 2024Read more

“Yoo was more reserved and uniformly elegant in her debut, as the soloist in Bernstein’s “Serenade (After Plato’s Symposium)” on Feb. 8. … her organically breathing melodies of the “Phaedrus” section; her lovely, lyrical double stops in “Aristophanes”; her generous, chamber-scale partnering with Frank Huang, the Philharmonic’s concertmaster, and Carter Brey, its principal cellist, in prominent duets.”

- The New York Times, February 2024Read more

“[T]he uninhibited Geffen Hall audience applauded after every movement of the Bernstein, and hooted loudly at the blazing fiddling of Yoo’s solo encore, Henri Vieuxtemps’ Souvenir d’Amerique, a set of virtuoso variations on “Yankee Doodle.””

- New York Classical ReviewRead more
– Chicago Classical Review, July 2023
– Mundo Clasico, May 2023
– Rafael Ortega Basagoiti for Scherzo, April 2023
– Sonograma, March 2023
– BBC Music Magazine, March 2023
– Thüringer Allgemeine, February 2023
– Z.E.N Trio, Limelight Magazine, 2022
– Aspen Times, July 2022
– El Comercio Asturias, June 2022

What a magnificent violinist! Not even looking with a magnifying glass did we find the slightest hint of imperfection. Between the lyricism of the melodies and the brilliance of the execution of the third movement, with that set of double and quadruple stops, she raised such a big ovation, that Yoo thanked with an incredible version of the children’s melody ​Yankee Doodle’ (Wieniawski’s ​Souvenir d’Amerique”). Great Yoo!”

– La Nueva Espana, June 2022
– The Strad Magazine
– Coladiario Magazine
– The Arts Desk

Few can match Yoo for sheer technique, dazzlingly displayed in Kreisler’s showcase Recitativo und Scherzo-Caprice.”

– The Guardian
– Bachtrack
– The Columbus Dispatch
– BachtrackRead more

It was a committed, commanding performance, full of passion and vivacity.”

– Peter Collins, Wales Online
– Nick Breckenfield, Classical SourceRead more

In her CSO debut, violinist Esther Yoo impresses in Prokofiev. Esther Yoo played the lyrical themes of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with a ravishing tone and a fresh, unaffected style. In her debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, the 24-year-old American-born violinist was a real discovery. (…) the audience was dazzled by her performance of Prokofiev (…)”

– Cincinnati Business Courier

she gave a peerless, flawless rendition of Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G Minor…she captured all the piece’s hauntingly melodious serenity, expressed in the most elegiac cadances… If the audience was deeply moved by the first two slow movements, the excitement of the finale was palpable…Her fingers were a mesmeric blur, soaring onwards and upwards towards the final thrilling ascending accelerando. The applause was thunderous”

– The Yorkshire Times

Esther Yoo’s rendering (Sibelius Violin Concerto) was beautifully clean, with distinguished tonal luster and sinew…This was a softer and warmer approach to the work, and Canellakis’ orchestra (Vancouver) served as a key anchor in executing it convincingly…One expects great things from Esther Yoo.”

– Vancouver Classical Music

“Making her RSNO debut, violinist Esther Yoo was completely at home with the orchestra as 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.”

– Miranda Heggie, The Herald ScotlandRead more
– Bachtrack

Esther Yoo, who has already played with the Philharmonia Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Ashkenazy and Lorin Maazel, moved perfectly to the pulse of Pablo Heras-Casado — dynamic and with an emphasis on the melodic character of the work….which was well exploited by the violinist demonstrating scrupulous technique and sweeping passion.”

– Bachtrack

It would, indeed, be difficult to imagine a more nobly poised take on this glorious score than this [Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto recording], with Esther Yoo sustaining a radiantly golden tone throughout even the most treacherous pyrotechnical terrain, captured in sound of tactile precision.”

– The Strad

this is the finest version [Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto] to cross my path in the past year… Her dark, aristocratic tone is treasurable…She plays with compact vibrato and can pare her sound down to a fine pianoissimo without her 1704 ​Prince Obolensky’ Stradivarius ever sounding undernourished…”

– Gramophone Magazine

Violinist Esther Yoo closes season with impeccable artistry…From the moment she took the Gusman Hall stage, Yoo displayed impeccable technique, highly personal interpretive instincts and musical maturity far beyond her years.”

– Lawrence Budmen, South Florida Classical ReviewRead more
– Michael Anthony, Star TribuneRead more

Of the soloists, it was BBC New Generation Artist Esther Yoo who owned the morning with a performance of The Lark Ascending that achieved an audience hush of a level that surely must be a first for an all-age concert; innocence, beauty, pain and effortlessness melded in a way that will lodge for years in the memory, and the audience roared its approval.”

– Charlotte Gardner, BachtrackRead more

Yoo commands a rich tone that can be pared to something silver-fine and her dynamic range is wide while her technique is excellent and music-serving. … Yoo is very expressive throughout, she is as intensely poised and then as fiery as you like, and her full timbre in high-lying passages is notable. It’s a smouldering account, biding its time to full emotional release, first in the unstintingly sympathetic orchestra and then in a full-on cadenza, Yoo unfazed by its technical hurdles.”

– Classical Source
– The Guardian

It’s easy to see what all the fuss is about in relation to the young Esther Yoo… What strikes you most is the richness of Yoo’s tone, combined with a radiant intensity in the Sibelius concerto, and joie de vivre in the Glazunov. She oozes confidence, rhythmic vitality, and a natural expressiveness that gives every phrase an engaging presence and freshness of thought.”

– The Scotsman

Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in D minor, with BBC New Generation Artist Esther Yoo as the soloist was equally stunning. Yoo’s solo passages were bewitching, as she played her cadenza in the middle of the first movement with such a huge and intricate amount of detail it was almost hard to conceive the sounds were coming from just one instrument, and the balance between soloist and orchestra was just perfect under Ashkenazy’s intuitive direction.”

– Miranda Heggie, The Herald ScotlandRead more

There are times when a standing ovation feels like a courtesy…This was not the case on Friday evening when the young violinist Esther Yoo had the audience on its feet. Dazzling technique, empathy and presence. Everything was there.”

– Lars Westin, Arbetarbladet

“It is not often I get shivers down my spine, and tears in the corner of my eye, but it felt as if Esther Yoo played on strings in my mind, transforming the music into a pure spiritual matter – a journey into an enchanted garden of memories…The following standing ovation was well deserved after this final performance – one of the pinnacles of this high-quality season.”

- Camilla Dal, Gävle DagbladRead more

“The performance of the young American violinist Esther Yoo led [the listener] into the serene, contemplative world of Mozart. [The violinist’s playing was] wonderfully sensitive and highly musical, combined with technical perfection, a secure instinct for the musical period and a great joy in making music. Add to that the beautiful sound of her violin, bright and silvery – the tone slightly grainy, the depths resonating and the highs floating.”

– Peter Tölke, WAZRead more

“Esther Yoo made [the opening of Mozart’s Violin Concerto in A major] blossom wondrously with her clear and intensely resonating violin tone and her highly sensitive interpretation.”

– Siegener Zeitung