Yeol Eum Son (piano)
Yeol Eum Son’s graceful and timeless interpretations, crystalline touch and versatile, thrilling performances have caught the attention of audiences worldwide. Praised for her widely eclectic concerti repertoire, ranging from Bach, all-Mozart, early German and Russian Romantic to Gershwin and Ligeti, Yeol Eum has collaborated with major ensembles worldwide such as Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Dresdner Philharmoniker, The Tonkunstler Orchestra at the Grafenegg Festival, Bergen Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Seoul Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Moscow Virtuosi among many others.
Yeol Eum performs with conductors such as Dmitri Kitayenko, Valery Gergiev, Vasily Petrenko, Vladimir Spivakov, Omer Meir Wellber, Susanna Mälkki, Cristian Măcelaru, Jonathan Nott, Mikko Franck, Nicholas Collon, Andrew Manze and Yan Pascal Tortelier.
A distinguished Mozart interpreter, in the recent concert seasons, Yeol Eum made major UK debuts with the CBSO 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.
Most recently Yeol Eum made her BBC Prom debut with the BBC Philharmonic (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 15) for which Mark Thomas from Bachtrack states that Son mixed serenity with calm assertion, with a delicate but confident touch and an almost dream-like quality, particularly in the Andante, while also creating breathing space amongst all of Mozart’s technical intricacies. Further significant UK debuts in the 18/19 season included appearances at King’s Place with Aurora Orchestra (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 21) and Wigmore Hall debut for a chamber collaboration with the cellist Natalie Klein. In the 19/20 season Yeol Eum makes her debut with Liverpool Philharmonic (Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto) and tours the major concert venues in the UK with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the left hand).
Significant concerti debuts across the 19/20 season include collaborations with Budapest Festival Orchestra (Rachmaninov No. 2); Singapore Symphony (Mozart No. 27); Australian debut with West Australian Symphony Orchestra (Mozart No. 21) and New Zealand debut with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (Mozart No. 27). In Spring 2020, Yeol Eum returns to Cologne to make her debut with the principle players from WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne interpreting Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 arranged for Piano and String Quintet. Later in the year, she rejoins forces as a soloist with WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne at the RadiRo Festival in Bucharest (Rachmaninov No. 2).
A sensitive, emotional and powerful recitalist, Yeol Eum gives frequent solo and chamber performances across the globe. Most recent recitals include debuts with San Francisco Chamber Music Society, The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, Helsingborg Piano Festival, International Piano Series Fribourg, Istanbul Recitalleri, Welsh debut at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama 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. In the 19/20 season Yeol Eum makes recital debuts in Luzerne’s KKLSaal, Porto’s Casa da Música, Moscow’s House of Music and Belgrade’s Kolarac Concert Hall.
Yeol Eum’s new releases include two DECCA albums: recital CD Modern Times- featuring solo piano music written between 1910-1920 by Berg, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Ravel, and Schumann and Brahms CD with violinist Clara-Jumi Kang. Previous albums include debut CD of complete Chopin Etudes (2004); Chopin Nocturnes for Piano and Strings (2008); prize-winning Cliburn Competition live performance (2009) and a multi-channel SACD O’ New World Music (2012).
In 2018, Yeol Eum was appointed Artistic Director of Music in PyeongChang in her native Korea where she is responsible for programming both summer and winter festivals at the Olympic site in PyeongChang. Yeol Eum is Honorary Ambassador of the Seoul Arts Center and her home city of Wonju. A double Second Prize winner at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 2011 and at the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009, Yeol Eum Son was a student of Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik Theater und Medien Hannover in Germany, where she now lives. She holds a degree from the Korean National University of Arts.