Poetic elegance, an innate feeling for expressive nuance and the power to project bold, dramatic contrasts are among the arresting attributes of Yeol Eum Son’s pianism. Her refined artistry rises from breathtaking technical control and a profound empathy for the emotional temper of the works within her strikingly wide repertoire. She is driven above all by her natural curiosity to explore a multitude of musical genres and styles and the desire to reveal what she describes as the “pure essence” of everything she performs. Yeol Eum refuses to impose limits on her artistic freedom and remains determined to explore new artistic territory. Her choice of repertoire, which spans everything from the works of Bach and Mozart to those of Shchedrin and Kapustin, is guided chiefly by the quality and depth of the music.

In high demand as recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician, Yeol Eum has won critical plaudits for the profound insights and intelligence of her interpretations. Her development as an all-round artist has gained from collaborations with conductors as diverse as Lorin Maazel, Dmitri Kitajenko, Valery Gergiev, Antonio Pappano, Andrew Manze, Jaime Martin, Jun Märkl, Roberto González-Monjas, Jonathon Heyward, Ryan Bancroft, Pablo Gonzalez, Pietari Inkinen, Eivind Aadland, Joana Carneiro, Anja Bihlmaier, Dima Slobodeniouk, Gergely Madaras, Alexander Shelley, Dmitry Matvienko, Yutaka Sado, Maxim Emelyanychev and Omer Meir Welber.

Across the 24/25 season, Yeol Eum makes orchestral debuts with the BBC Symphony at the Barbican Centre in London, Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra at Vienna Musikverein and London’s Cadogan Hall, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Galicia Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, St. Louis, Colorado, Baltimore, Symphony Orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This season Yeol Eum also returns to the NAC Ottawa, Scottish Chamber, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto.

The international reach of Yeol Eum’s past seasons’ work is clearly reflected in collaborations with, among others, the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Gürzenich, Dresden Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Oslo Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Basel Symphony, Castilla y León, Spanish Radio and Television Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Residentie Orkest in the Hague. In North America and Canada Yeol Eum has recently made appearances with Atlanta, Detroit, San Diego, Pacific, Vancouver Symphony Orchestras and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Further afield, Yeol Eum’s orchestral appearances include frequent collaborations with Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian, Tasmanian Symphony orchestras and Auckland Philharmonia.

Recent recital and chamber highlights include debut appearances at the Edinburgh International Festival, Rosendal and Risør Chamber Music Festival, Singapore International Piano Festival, International Piano Festival of Oeiras, and Mänttä Music Festival in Finland, as well as return visits to the Helsingborg Piano Festival in Sweden, International Chopin Festival at Duszniki-Zdrój, Melbourne Recital Centre and Adelaide International Piano Series.

Yeol Eum Son, born in Wonju, South Korea in 1986, received her first piano lessons at the age of three-and-a-half. She was among the prize winners at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in 1997 and won the Oberlin International Piano Competition two years later. Yeol Eum studied at Korea National University of Arts and continued her training with Professor Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover.

Yeol Eum attracted international attention when she secured second prize and the Best Chamber Music Performance at the 2009 Van Cliburn Competition. She underlined her position among the most gifted artists of her generation at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, where she won the Silver Medal and received the coveted competition’s prizes for Best Chamber Concerto Performance and Best Performance of the Commissioned Work.

Over the past decade Yeol Eum has achieved global acclaim not least for her interpretations of Mozart’s piano concertos. In 2016 she joined the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner in what proved to be the conductor’s final recording, setting down a radiant interpretation of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21 for Onyx Classics. She made her London debut at Cadogan Hall with the same work and orchestra in 2018 and enchanted the audience at the Royal Albert Hall the following year with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.15 for her debut at the BBC Proms. The YouTube video of her performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21 at the International Tchaikovsky Competition has been viewed almost 23 million times, thought to be a record figure for any live Mozart work on the platform.

In addition to Yeol Eum’s intense performance diary, she has an active recording schedule with the most recent releases on Naïve record label of her album Love Music alongside violinist Svetlin Roussev and a stunning box set of Mozart’s Complete Piano Sonatas. Yeol Eum’s discography also includes Mozart: Complete Piano Sonatas, Modern Times, an album of works by Berg, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Ravel (Decca, 2016), a recording of Schumann’s Fantasy in C, Kreisleriana and Arabesque (Onyx, 2020) and a disc devoted to Nikolai Kapustin’s Eight Concert Etudes, Piano Sonata No.2 and other representative compositions (Onyx, 2021).

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