About Yeol Eum Son

Multi-award-winning South Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son is famed for her power, her poetry and her remarkably perceptive playing. Her graceful and timeless interpretations, crystalline touch and versatile, thrilling performances have caught the attention of audiences worldwide. She is highly regarded as a brilliant virtuoso whose playing has a rare balance between enormous kinetic energy and substantial gravity. Yeol Eum performs all over the world as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras. An avid chamber musician, in 2018 Yeol Eum was appointed Artistic Director of Music in PyeongChangFestival being responsible for programming both summer and winter editions at the Olympic site in PyeongChang.

Praised for her widely eclectic and rich concerti repertoire, ranging from Bach, all-Mozart, early German and Russian Romantic to Gershwin, Szymanowski, Ligeti and Salonen, as a soloist Yeol Eum has collaborated with major ensembles worldwide such as New York PhilharmonicMariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Dresdner Philharmoniker, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Tonkunstler Orchestra at the Grafenegg Festival, Bergen Philharmonic, CBSO, Aurora Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, St. Petersburg, Belgrade, Zagreb, Sofia Philharmonic and RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra among many others.

Yeol Eum performs with conductors such as Dmitri Kitayenko, Valery Gergiev, Vasily Petrenko, Vladimir Spivakov, Andrew Manze, Susanna Mälkki, Krzysztof Urbański, Omer Meir Wellber, Pietari Inkinen, Jonathan Nott, Mikko Franck, Nicholas Collon, Jaime Martin, Roberto González-Monjas, Jonathon Heyward, Joana Carneiro, Pablo González, Jun Märkl, Case Scaglione, Edo de Waart, Gergely Madaras, Ryan Bancroft, Anja Bihlmaier and Rune Bergmann.

Across 22/23 season, Yeol Eum will feature as Artist in Residence with the Residentie Orchestra in the Hague. During her residency Yeol Eum will have several opportunities to present her rich artistry by interpreting piano concerti by Mozart, Gershwin, Ravel and Saint-Saëns. Among notable 22/23 season highlights are debuts with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony,  NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias and Musikkollegium Winterthur. Beyond Europe, this year Australian and Asian audiences will have the opportunity to hear Yeol Eum live for her concerti debuts with the Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmanian and Singapore Symphony Orchestras. In Northern America, following recent debut with the San Diego Symphony, Yeol Eum looks forward to her debuts with the Detroit Symphony and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Among recent notable highlights are concerti debuts at the Palace of Arts with the Budapest Festival Orchestra; Helsinki Music Centre with the Helsinki Philharmonic; Salle Philharmonique de Liège with Liège Philharmonic; Philharmonie de Paris debut with Orchestre National d’Île-de-France; Madrid’s Teatro Monumental with the Spanish Radio Television Symphony Orchestra; Glasgow’s City and Perth’s Concert Halls with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Eindhoven’s Muziekgebouw Frits Philips with Philharmonie Zuid Nederland; Stadtcasino Basel with the Basel Symphony and Centro Cultural Miguel Delibes in Valladolid with the Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra. Most recently Yeol Eum also returned to Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken for multiple performances under the baton of their Chief Pietari Inkinen.

Widely recognised for her interpretation of Mozart’s Piano Concerti, Yeol Eum has won over the hearts of the British audience through her moving debut performances with the BBC Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall in summer 2019 (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 15); CBSO debut in Birmingham (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 21) and at London’s Cadogan Hall with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (Mozart’s Piano Concerti No’s 8 & 21). Her London debut coincided with Onyx CD release of a highly acclaimed all-Mozart recording featuring Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21 with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner for whom it was the very last recording. According to The Times Yeol Eum Son is a model of clarity and fleetness whilst Gramophone called the recording an uncommonly fine Mozartian debut. Shortly before the global pandemic, Yeol Eum’s debut at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall with the Liverpool Philharmonic (Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto) was met with high acclaim for which Johanna Roberts wrote: Yeol Eum Son throughout demonstrated the technical excellence partnered with lyrical sensitivity that have made her one of the most sought-after concert pianists in a virtuoso performance that was much appreciated by the audience. During her UK tour with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in spring 2020, Yeol Eum returned to London’s Cadogan Hall and debuted at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and at Basingstoke’s the Anvil Concert Hall interpreting Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the left hand.

A sensitive, emotional, and powerful recitalist, across 2022 Yeol Eum makes debuts at the Auditorio de Zaragoza,  Melbourne Recital Centre, City Recital Hall in Sydney, International Piano Series in Adelaide, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Brussel’s Flagey and returns to Mosel Musikfestival, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, Oregon OSU Piano International and Steinway Society in The Bay Area, in the United States.

Amongst most notable recent recital highlights are debuts and re-invitations at Porto’s Casa da Música, Belgrade’s Kolarac Concert Hall, Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague, Estonia’s Concert Hall within Tallin Piano Festival, the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall, Helsingborg Piano Festival, International Piano Series Fribourg, Luzerne’s KKLSaal, Istanbul Recitalleri, Moscow’s House of Music, the San Francisco Chamber Music Society, the Phillips Collection in Washington DC and Scottish recital debut at the East Neuk Festival for which The Scotsman presides Yeol Eum for having found that vital emotional connection with the music and physically embracing its raw energy and dynamic extremes with ferocious virtuosity. As a chamber musician across 21/22 season, Yeol Eum collaborated with Quatuor Modigliani at the Haus der Musik Innsbruck as well as with the Belcea Quartet at Gare du Nord in Basel.

Yeol Eum’s most recent recital recordings include an all- Kapustin Onyx release (2021) marking a year since the composer’s death and celebrating his remarkable contribution to the piano repertoire; Schumann focused release on Onyx (2020) featuring Fantasy in C – Kreisleriana – Arabesque and a DECCA release (2016) entitled Modern Times- featuring solo piano music written between 1910-1920 by Berg, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Ravel.

Yeol Eum is Honorary Ambassador of the Seoul Arts Center and her home city of Wonju. A double Second Prize winner of the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 2011 and at the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009. She was a student of Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik Theater und Medien Hannover in Germany. She holds a degree from the Korean National University of Arts.