Ideas & More

Tuning the focus inward: violinist Esther Yoo on performers facing their demons in a crisis

COVID-19 hurls the artist into the unknown. June is the time of year where I, like many, look back on everything I have accomplished over the last two quarters and look forward to my plans and goals for the next six months. As my birthday happens to fall in mid June, it’s a particularly opportune moment for me to think about my personal timeline and envision how I want to commence a new year. For the first time ever, though, my reflection involuntarily focuses on everything I have not been able to accomplish this half-year and my spirits are not greatly lifted by the prospects for the remainder of 2020.

I feel very fortunate that I was able to perform two concerts in the UK just days before the government banned public gatherings and the country shortly thereafter went into lockdown. Ever since those memorable performances in London and Hull with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Thierry Fischer on 10 and 12), the majority of communications I have received relating to concerts are primarily concerning postponements and cancellations.

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